OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahomans paid their final respects Monday to Edmond’s first fallen officer.

Family, friends, and several members of the community said their goodbyes to Edmond motorcycle police officer Sergeant CJ Nelson, after he died in the line of duty during a crash Tuesday, July 19.

“On Tuesday, I received the phone call that I never wanted to receive. It was something that CJ and I talked about often because unfortunately, it’s a reality for all of our LEO families. The ground instantly fell out from under me. My breath was taken. I was stuck in a soul shattering silence. And I am still living in a state of groundlessness,” said Jenefer Nelson, Sgt. Nelson’s wife.

“CJ’s life screams encouragement to those who will listen,” said Edmond Police Chief JD Younger. “The tragedy of July 19th is not the fingerprint that CJ has placed on our lives.”

“CJ was the ultimate team player,” said Sgt. Mason Long, who was in the same police academy with Sgt. Nelson.

“CJ brought calm into the chaos. He would hold out his hand and say ‘wusah,’” said Sgt. Joe Delpha with the Edmond Police Department, who served with Nelson on the SWAT team.

“CJ’s career took off in the traffic unit, becoming one of the best motorcycle riders at the department,” said Sgt. Long. “He soon became ‘Vegan CrossFit CJ.’ I would always see him throughout the day taking a break  at PD South, pulling out some gross vegan food and protein shakes from the side-saddle of his motorcycle. I can’t imagine the amount of Tupperware and shaker bottles piled up at home in the sink.”

“But, it all paid off. This past year on the team, CJ put up the fastest time on our physical fitness test and he became the winner of the highly coveted Beast Award,” said Sgt. Long. “CJ was passionate about a lot of things, but none more so than his family.”

“He lived the Hakuna Matata life. No worries. Because I was worried about everything,” said Nelson. “We was an Island Boy through and through. He was so proud of his Hawaiian roots and his Okinawan heritage.”

“He was the dad whose eyes would light up when he spoke of Emily and Connor. He was the perfect mix of a fun dad and a teacher of life lessons,” she said.

“The Nelson family and the Edmond Police Department will never get over losing CJ. But, with the love of this community, I know we’ll get through it together,” said Chief Younger.

“He always told me I am stronger than I give myself credit for, and I guess it’s my time to prove him right,” said Nelson.

The Edmond Police Chief also said Sergeant Nelson has been awarded the Purple Heart in Police Cross Medals, although, he adds, no award can adequately reward CJ’s sacrifice to the community.

St. Luke’s has set up a memorial fund for the family of Officer Nelson. If you would like to give, click the link and select “Nelson Memorial Fund” from the drop down.