Word of a youthful, dedicated Lakewood police officer's sudden death filters through town as fellow officers, friends and family cope with their loss.

Patrolman Craig Lawson (Lakewood Police Dept.)

Patrolman Craig Lawson, 31, son of retired Chief Rob Lawson, sustained an "unknown medical episode" this morning, according to information from Chief Gregory H. Meyer.

An autopsy this afternoon by the Ocean County Medical Exminer is expected to pinpoint the cause and manner of death.

Lawson was hired in 2014 upon completion of training at the Ocean County Police Academy, and was assigned to the evening shift, Meyer said.

"During his time, the two year veteran proved himself to be an excellent officer and showed great interest in becoming assigned to our Firearms Training Program," Meyer's statement read, in part.

"It is certainly a somber day for the Lakewood Police Department and a loss for the community he served," Meyer said.

Lawson's passing occurs less than three weeks since his father's retirement.

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