An NYPD deputy chief from West Islip who died of a Sept. 11-related illness this week was remembered Friday as a man who led by example and ultimately sacrificed his life because of his dedication to the job.

James Gerard Molloy was a deputy inspector at the time of the terror attacks at the World Trade Center and helped lead the rescue and recovery effort, NYPD Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said in his eulogy at Molloy’s funeral in Bay Shore.

“In the days, weeks and months that followed the attacks, Jim worked with hundreds of other cops and volunteers to clear the burning pile, sifting through mountains of debris in the search for evidence and remains,” O’Neill said. “And with every breath, he was giving his life for the people of this great city. But that was his calling, because he was a New York City cop. And he was a great one.”

Molloy, 55, died Monday, his family said. He had brain cancer, according to multiple reports.

At Molloy’s funeral at St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church, O’Neill said the department has lost 132 members “due to illnesses related to that terrorist act.”

NYPD Deputy Chief James Molloy died Monday night, Jan. 30, 2017 from 9/11 related brain cancer, officials said. Photo Credit: NYPD

In his 35-year career Molloy worked dozens of commands and was commanding officer of five of them. He “truly found a home” in the elite Emergency Service Unit, which suffered more losses on 9/11 than any other unit, the commissioner said.

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“He loved his cops,” O’Neill said. “And he loved this department. He made it his life’s work protecting everyone who lived, worked and visited this city. And we’re all better off because of that devotion.”

The coffin carrying Molloy was escorted from the church by six uniformed NYPD officers. Burial followed at Northport Rural Cemetery in Northport.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, and daughters, Alexa and Christina.

O’Neill said that the department’s “sworn pledge” to Molloy and his family is “that all of us will do our best to live up to his immense legacy.”