An 26-year-old Edison police officer who had just joined the department in October after a lifetime of wanting to be in law enforcement collapsed at his home and died on Tuesday.

Police Chief Thomas Bryan told New Jersey 101.5 that Officer Ryan Borden was one of 29 officers who joined the force in October after being a member of the Rutgers University Police Department in Camden.

Borden took a kickboxing class in the afternoon with a friend and then went to the home he shares with his mother to work on a renovation project with his brother and another guy.

"They heard him go down, they heard a thud," he said. "They tried to revive him and, of course, they called 911."

"When he was hired here he had to go through a battery of tests. They never picked anything up. You're going through a stress test, they definitely do an EKG. It's just crazy," Bryan said about the sudden death.

The chief said Borden grew up across the street from the gym he owned and was a member. Borden lost his father at a young age and was the sole provider for his mother, Bryan said. His younger brother died a few years ago.

"I received a call from the East Windsor chief the other night. He let me know Ryan collapsed at his house and his guys were attempting to revive him. I went over there. I can't say enough good things about the East Windsor police because they did everything in their power to try to save Ryan and bring him back. It just wasn't in the cards," Bryan said.

Borden went through the police academy and played basketball and regularly went to Bryan's gym, the chief said. Bryan said he helped him with extra firearms training.

"He's only 26. He touched so many people's lives in such a positive way at such a young age," Bryan said.

Edison PBA 75 has created a GoFundMe page for funeral expenses and to help his mother and brother.

"We are still in shock over the death of one of our newest brothers. Ryan, you always had a smile on your face, and was so excited to be an Edison police officer. You were always willing to help out anybody. We will miss you dearly," the campaign page says.

Borden is the latest young emergency worker to die this month.

Victor Melillo, 21, of Irvington, was jogging in the parking lot of the Morris County Public Safety Training Academy in Parsippany around 9:30 a.m. on March 4. He died on March 9 at Morristown Medical Center.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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