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Public services held for fallen Ogden officer

OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Thousands paid tribute to Officer Jared Francom during public service at Weber State University's Dee Events Center in Ogden on Wednesday.
Ogden police funeral for Officer Jared Francom (ABC 4 News)
Ogden police funeral for Officer Jared Francom (ABC 4 News)
Ogden police funeral for Officer Jared Francom (ABC 4 News)
Ogden police funeral for Officer Jared Francom (ABC 4 News)
Roy Police (ABC 4 News)
Roy Police (ABC 4 News)
Ogden police funeral for Officer Jared Francom
Ogden police funeral for Officer Jared Francom
Crowd begins to gather for funeral for Officer Jared Francom (ABC 4 News)
Crowd begins to gather for funeral for Officer Jared Francom (ABC 4 News)
A photo honoring officer Jared Francom sits on a table at his viewing in Ogden Thursday, January 10, 2012.  Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last week while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden.  (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)
A photo honoring officer Jared Francom sits on a table at his viewing in Ogden Thursday, January 10, 2012. Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last week while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)
OGDEN, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Thousands paid tribute to Officer Jared Francom during public service at Weber State University's Dee Events Center in Ogden on Wednesday.

Francom was killed in a shootout as a Weber-Morgan police task force entered the home of a drug suspect on on January 4th. Five other officers were shot during the melee, along with the suspect, Matthew Stewart.

All of the other officers injured in the shootout were treated for their injuries at McKay-Dee hospital. All but two of them had been released as of Wednesday morning. Two others, Ogden officers Michael Rounkles and Kasey Burrell remained hospitalized in fair condition.

Weber County sheriff's Sgt. Nate Hutchinson and Roy Officer Jason VanderWarf were released earlier in the week.

Ogden police officer Shawn Grogan was treated and released just in time to attend the services. A hospital spokesperson released a statement from Grogan, who said, “Thank you for your love and prayers. Please allow me this critical time to heal.”

An estimated 4,000 people attended the service including dignitaries and law enforcement officers from many different parts of the country.

Those dignataries included U.S. Senator Mike Lee, U.S. Representative Rob Bishop and Utah Governor Gary Herbert and his wife Janet.

The hymns performed and sung during the service included "Each Life That Touches Ours for Good," "Remember Me," "How Great Thou Art" and "God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again."

Jared's brother Gunner spoke during the service and provided a "life sketch" of Francom boyhood and his dedication to becoming a police officer.

“(Jared’s) Greatest desire was becoming a father of two beautiful little girls and becoming a police officer,” said Gunner.

Ben Francom, another of Jared's brothers also spoke about Francom's work in the Weber-Morgan task force for the past few years. “He would get the job done and had an incredible work ethic,” said Ben. "He always had a bigger, better attitude.”

Ben said his brother was big, tender guy to his daughters. “He has taught people to care for each other and taught others to change the world like he was doing on the streets of Ogden.”

Referring to the other officers in attendance, Ben said, "Jared loved you, each and every one of you."

Ogden Police officer Troy Burnett also spoke of Francom's work within the department.

“He wouldn’t let an officer down,” said Burnett. “We lost a dedicated officer and the strike force has lost a courageous agent. We all lost a real brother and a friend.”

Shane Keyes, another Ogden officer who served on the strike force spoke of Francom's dedication to his family and fellow officers. Keyes also spoke of Francom's great sense of humor.

Governor Herbert also spoke during the proceedings and challenged all the officers in attendance to dedicate themselves to Francom and his example of selfless service.

Francom's LDS Bishop Troy Combs also spoke, saying, "Death comes to us all eventually. We can’t avoid it but it's tragic the way some deaths occur. Jared’s was a tragic death. He was murdered, but he did it serving and protecting us.”

"To the number of officers here, I honor you, I respect you and I love you for what you do in the line of fire each and every day," added Combs. "You keep my family safe.”

"Death is not final," said Combs. "We will see Jared again. He is still here with us."

Jared's brother Travis also spoke.

"I’ve always looked up to my brother," said Travis. “He was my best friend. He taught me to live life to the fullest. He taught me to be a protector of those I love. He taught me to be selfless by laying down his life for those he loves.”

"My brother is my hero and I love him with all of my heart," added Travis. "I’ve been told by others that they too consider him as a hero and I am grateful to hear my brother went down and when he went down, he was fighting and he went down for his comrades."

Speaking of the other officers in attendance, Travis Francom said, "My brother would be honored to see you all today just as my family is. Thank you for the long distance you’ve traveled. This is a brotherhood. To all officers I am so grateful to have met all of you and I am so grateful for all you being here."

Another LDS bishop named Jerry Bovee added, "Today, we bury a giant."

After the service, Francom's body was transported by an Ogden Fire Department truck through the streets of Ogden to the Ogden cemetery. Along with family, friends and dignitaries, hundreds of police officers joined the procession in cars and on motorcycles.

Near the Ogden City Hall, two fire department trucks raised their ladders across Washington Avenue, holding a large American flag between them as the procession passed beneath.

Ogden public schools also allowed students leave class to stand along the procession route.

The procession passed by hundreds of other people waving flags and standing in respect. Many more American flags were placed along the route in honor of Francom.

After arrival at the grave site, a 21-gun salute was performed prior to internment. Access to the burial site was restricted to friends and family.


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