Chandler Police Officer Robert Neilsen died in the line of duty on June 12, 2002 when his Ford Crown Victoria exploded after an accident on Chandler Boulevard at 1:51pm. The accident occured when a 72-year-old driver attempted a sudden left turn in front of his vehicle. The cruiser was struck in the driver's side door, spun counter-clockwise and struck a traffic pole in the rear passenger area of the car. The rear of the vehicle then caught fire.

Nielsen is the third Arizona police officer to die in the post-explosion of an accident involving a Crown Victoria. Phoenix Police Department Officer Jason Schechterle was critically burned on March 26, 2001, but survived.

Neilsen was two-year veteran of the Chandler police force. He is survived by his wife, Ann Marie Neilsen, and parents, Berdis Neilsen and Teresa Neilsen. He was 25 years old.

Neilsen's final dispatch was transmitted over the police radio on June 18, 2002 by Charles J. Connell Jr. as follows:1

(P445) Copy Traffic

(P445) Respond to heaven, contact God, our Father (BREAK)

(P445) He advises you have completed His mission for you here. He wants to see you regarding your final reward. (BREAK)

(P445) You have been a good friend to all who have met you; brother, husband, and son beyond compare. The "Moose", and his sense of humor will live on in our minds forever. (BREAK)

(P445) During the brief time we were allowed with you, we saw an officer whose work was tireles, who ethics were exemplary. Your love of your job and your brothers and sisters in the badge was unmistakeable. Today and every day we return that love to you.(BREAK)

(P445) You have fought the good fight; you have finished the course; and now it is your time to rest.(BREAK)

(P445) As we see the sun at the start of each day we will remember your warm smile and compassion for all.


(P445) You are now clear to secure and remain with the Lord in peace and happiness forever.

(P445) Good day Sir, Goodbye;...........Vaya con Dios.

1. Radio dispatch transcript from the Chandler Police Department web site at