Slain Ogden officer Jared Francom remembered as devoted father, football fan, adrenaline junkie
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
OGDEN — Remembering him as a man who was devoted to his family, his job and the Dallas Cowboys, friends, family members and hundreds of law enforcement officers from across Utah and the U.S. said goodbye Wednesday to Ogden police officer Jared Francom.
An estimated 4,000 people attended the funeral at the Dee Events Center for Francom who was killed in the line of duty. He was shot while serving a search warrant with the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force on Jan. 4 and died early the next morning.
Among those attending was Ogden police officer Shawn Grogan, who was one of the five officers wounded in the shootout that killed Francom. Grogan was released from McKay-Dee Hospital Center Wednesday morning. He was brought to the funeral in an ambulance.
"Thank you for your love and prayers. Please allow me this critical time to heal," he said in a tweet.
Ogden police officers Kasey Burrell and Michael Rounkles remained hospitalized Wednesday in fair condition and were unable to attend.
Before the funeral began, however, police officers seated on the main floor of the arena could be seen passing an iPad around. Ogden police officer Michael Rounkles reportedly watched the funeral from his hospital room with his own iPad. The family confirmed that he was able to watch the funeral, said hospital spokesman Chris Dallin.
Family members recalled Francom's love of being an officer; how he was an adrenaline junkie who loved skydiving, motorcycles and ATVs; how he was a die-hard Dallas Cowboys fan; and how he was completely devoted to his two young daughters.
"He may have been a big, tough man, but he was also a sweet and tender man, more than any man I've ever seen," said his brother Ben Francom.
One of the most touching moments of the ceremony came when his brother Travis Francom recalled a letter Jared had written to him while he was at the Missionary Training Center in Provo. Wednesday, Travis read an open letter to his brother that was written like the one he had received years earlier. In it, he tells his brother to have fun — but not too much fun without him — told him to just ask if he needs anything, and ended it by saying, "I love you, Jared, and miss you so much."
"My brother is my hero and I love him with all of my heart," Travis Francom said.
He recalled how his brother was his best friend and how he taught him to live life to the fullest.
"And now he taught me how to be selfless by laying down his own life for what he loved," Travis Francom said.
A common theme that many talked about during the ceremony was the LDS teaching that families could be together forever in the afterlife.
"I'm going to miss my brother, but I know it's only going to be for a short time," his brother Gunner Francom said. "Our family can and will be together forever. ... Now we all have to live up to Jared's standards. We have to try and get back to live with him."
"My whole family knows what we need to do to see him again," echoed Ben Francom. "I know my brother is here watching over us. Jared really loved what he did. He loved all of you."
Two of Francom's co-workers on the strike force recalled how devoted of an officer Francom was, but described how he was also known to crack jokes to lighten the mood.
"The Ogden City Police Department has lost a dedicated officer and the strike force has lost a courageous agent, and we've all lost a brother and a friend," said Ogden police officer Troy Burnett.
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