“A big man with an even bigger heart” is how a colleague described former Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer Scott Emerson, who died suddenly this weekend.
Emerson, 34, of Fair Lawn, “wasn’t feeling well, and they called an ambulance," another colleague said Sunday.
The 8-year department veteran may have suffered an infection following recent surgery, friends said.
He hung on throughout the day Saturday -- as family, friends and colleagues gathered at the hospital -- before he passed away, one said.
"They brought him back several times," the friend said. "Then they couldn't. He went on his own."
ARRANGEMENTS: A 10 a.m. funeral Mass was scheduled at Our Lady of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Ridgewood this Thursday for former Bergen County Sheriff’s Officer Scott Emerson, who died suddenly this past weekend weekend. Visiting hours are from 4 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at Vander Platt Funeral Home in Fair Lawn. Burial will be in George Washington Cemetery in Paramus.
The Fair Lawn High School graduate, who played and coached football, retired in July after sustaining several injuries in a crash while en route to an overdose call.
Those who'd seen him beat cancer several years ago were devastated by Emerson's death.
"Officer Emerson was clearly respected throughout Bergen County and among his peers at the BCSO," Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton said. "He was a kindhearted individual who volunteered himself to giving back to the community. We will miss him dearly and we pray for his family during this difficult time."
"Whether you walked into the locker room at work, courtroom, police car, hospital, or dinner you made people laugh," a friend wrote in tribute.
"Guy would give anyone the shirt off his back," another said.
"I remember teaching him at the [police] academy," former Ridgewood Police Chief John Ward said. "Great sense of humor only matched by the size of his heart."
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.