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Police brotherhood is a bond that is always there

Published: Thursday, Jan. 5 2012 7:59 p.m. MST

From left, Erin Francom, widow of Jared Francom, his brothers Travis Francom, Jessica, (Travis' wife) Ben and Gunner take part in a candlelight vigil honoring their husband and brother, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012.  Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News) From left, Erin Francom, widow of Jared Francom, his brothers Travis Francom, Jessica, (Travis' wife) Ben and Gunner take part in a candlelight vigil honoring their husband and brother, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012. Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)

OGDEN — When the shots were fired in a Wednesday night drug raid, killing one officer and wounding five others, the shots may as well have been fired at all of Weber County law enforcement.

Those shots also may as well have been fired at all of Utah law enforcement and police officers in this country — such is the solidarity, such is the bond.

The men who work the streets, those who moved on to desk jobs, the women on patrol or the detectives who work sex crimes come from one family.

And you don't understand unless you've been there.

"There's a lot of connectivity," said Weber County Sheriff's Capt. Klint Anderson.

"You want to say it is business as usual as officers are out doing their jobs today (Thursday) but you know that it is not," Anderson said. "We're all thinking about those officers constantly."

The collective weight of six officers shot, one fatally, is borne by men and women with shared experiences of the wounded or killed or by the simple cold notion it could just as easily have happened to them, on their watch.

From left, Katie Barton, Shannon Mullins, Cierra Mullins and Scott Conley talk with Ogden special events coordinator, Carolyn Brierley during a candlelight vigil honoring, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012.  Jared Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News) From left, Katie Barton, Shannon Mullins, Cierra Mullins and Scott Conley talk with Ogden special events coordinator, Carolyn Brierley during a candlelight vigil honoring, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012. Jared Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)

"This is not supposed to happen, this doesn't happen," said a stricken Weber County Undersheriff Kevin McLeod. "It hasn't happened in my 34 years."

At the Officer Down Memorial Page — www.odmp.org, a tribute to fallen officers — Ogden police officer Jared Francom's name and picture was already posted early Thursday and more than 220 people — many of them retired or current officers — had posted tributes.

They call it End Of Watch — and while Ogden hasn't had an officer killed in the line of duty since 1963 — any time it happens is too often.

"These people become your brother," said one police sergeant who did not want his name used.

"People don't understand the hours you spend away from your family — you're always away from your family and that is why you become a family."

Single or in groups, officers showed up in a steady stream Thursday at McKay-Dee Hospital, standing grim faced outside the chapel.

Travis Francom (center) talks with LDS bishop Jerry Bovee (left center) as he sits with his brothers during a candlelight vigil honoring his brother, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012.  Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News) Travis Francom (center) talks with LDS bishop Jerry Bovee (left center) as he sits with his brothers during a candlelight vigil honoring his brother, Ogden police officer Jared Francom at the Ogden Amphitheater in Ogden Thursday, January 5, 2012. Francom succumbed to his injuries after he and five other officers from the Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force were shot last night while serving a warrant at a home in Ogden. (Brian Nicholson, Deseret News)

Former veteran Ogden Police Chief Jon Greiner stood next to his interim replacement, Wayne Tarwater, offering support to others in the hall. Other retired officers showed up at the hospital, hearing one of their own had been killed, others injured.

"Thirty-eight years and I've never had to go through something like this," Greiner said.

Outside, alone in his car, an Ogden police officer was wiping the tears from his face, gathering his composure.

He waved off a stranger and pointed to the hospital.

"I have brothers in there," he said.

E-mail: amyjoi@desnews.com Twitter: amyjoi16

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