OGDEN — All of Ogden's police department will be given the day off Sunday to mourn the loss of their co-worker in the tragic events that happened this week.
"This Sunday, from 6:30 in the morning to 6:30 Monday morning, our entire Ogden City calls for service will be handled by outside agencies so that we can allow our officers to have a complete 24 hours off, time to decompress, be with their families, try to heal a little bit," said Ogden interim Police Chief Wayne Tarwater.
Ogden police continued to receive support from the community and law enforcement agencies from across Utah and the nation Friday following the shooting death of officer Jared Francom and the wounding of five other officers. All six were shot while serving a search warrant at an Ogden home.
"We've had every agency in Weber County, basically almost every agency in the state, has offered to help," Tarwater said.
Flowers with cards of condolences continued to be dropped off in the lobby of the Ogden Police Station throughout the day Friday in remembrance of Francom. Tarwater said he couldn't count the number of calls his department had received from the community offering food and other donations.
"It just tells me people care, that people want to help," he said.
Ogden police officer Shawn Grogan and Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Nate Hutchinson were upgraded Friday to fair condition at McKay-Dee Hospital Center.
"He's in good spirits, he's recovering and doing well and said to let the public know and the media that he's doing fine," Weber County Undersheriff Kevin McLeod said of Hutchinson.
Grogan was expected to be transferred out of the intensive care unit because of his improvement, said hospital spokesman Chris Dallin.
Grogan was shot in the face through the cheek and Hutchinson was shot four times, twice to his vest, once to his arm and once through his hip, according to a law enforcement source.
Ogden police officers Kasey Burrell and Michael Rounkles remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday. Burrell was shot twice, once in the stomach, and his face was hit with fragments; Rounkles was shot in the leg next to his femoral artery, and the bullet was still lodged inside.
Roy police officer Jason Vanderwarf, who was shot in the hip, was released from the hospital on Thursday.
Tarwater said he had made a trip to visit with all of the hospitalized officers, though not all of them were conscious at the time he was there.
As for the alleged gunman, Matthew Stewart, Tarwater would only say he remained hospitalized. There was no word on when he might be transferred to jail.
Very few details were released Friday about the shootout, pending both an internal investigation and one by the Weber County Attorney's Office.
Tarwater confirmed Friday that not all of the officers wounded were among the initial task force members who first entered the home. Some backup officers were shot, although Tarwater declined to say how many or who.
He said about a dozen Ogden police officers are on standard paid administrative leave because of the shootout, including those who were wounded. Officers are typically placed on leave when they fire their weapon.
Tarwater noted, however, "at least in the short term it will not affect our ability to handle calls for service, so the public won't have to worry about that."
Funeral plans had not been finalized for Francom as of Friday evening, but Tarwater said he is already anticipating that several thousand people will attend.
In addition to getting 24 hours off, Tarwater hoped to have a department-wide debriefing about the incident, again with other agencies helping to cover shifts while they gathered. In the meetings he has attended, the chief said he has been watching for officers who are having trouble coping with what happened.
From his observations, he said it has been hard on those who were not only involved that night, but those who weren't there, too.
"I think the biggest thing I've noticed for the officers, they just want to help," he said. "I almost think it's harder on the dispatchers and the officers who weren't there than the officers that were. There's that frustration of wanting to help, wanting to do something, but you just can't do it."
Francom had been serving as president of the Ogden City Police Benefit Association.
"It's tough. It's an emotional roller coaster. I'm going to miss Jared as a friend, and a co-worker," said an emotional officer Don Johnson, who now serves as president of the association that provides support to the families of officers in needs.
"He had the support of lots of people because he was a very strong person and a good leader," Johnson said.
Donations can be made in any of the six officers' names at all Bank of Utah locations.
Despite the grieving, Tarwater said, his officers knew they still needed to serve the public Friday. Ogden police respond to an average of 300 calls each day.
"They're grieving but they know they have a job to do," he said.
Support also came Friday in the form of a $25,000 check presented to Francom's widow, Erin.
In 2010, Park City philanthropist Tore Steen and his wife started the 1033 Foundation to assist the families of fallen officers. The goal was to give the families $25,000 immediately — the same day they learned of the tragedy if possible — so the families would not have to worry about immediate expenses.
Thursday, Steen, along with law enforcers from Summit County, presented a check to Francom's widow and their 3- and 5-year-old daughters.
"It was a touching moment for me. I've never done anything like that before," he said.
It was the first check Steen's foundation had given to the family of an officer killed in the line of duty.
Steen said when he was a businessman in New York City, he used to do ride-alongs with police officers. He said it was an eye-opening experience.
"I guess I never even thought about it, those guys put their lives on the line every time they leave their home in the morning," he said.
Steen and his wife have lived in Utah for the past 12 years, and decided they wanted to give something back to their adopted home.
He said Erin Francom seemed stunned when he presented her with the check.
And though it won't help with her grief, Steen hoped the money would make things a little easier for her family.5 comments on this story
He hopes to expand the program by offering scholarships to the families of officers, and not just to those who have lost a loved one.
Contributing: Shara Park, Andrew Adams