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Slain, wounded Weber County officers honored in Utah Senate, House

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature paused Wednesday to honor six officers who were shot, one fatally, while serving a drug warrant in Ogden on Jan. 4.

In ceremonies in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, the officers and their families were welcomed with standing ovations, tears and thunderous applause.

Ogden officer Jared Francom, 30, was killed and five other officers were injured during the marijuana drug raid in Ogden. The injured included Ogden officers Kasey Burrell, Shawn Grogan and Michael Rounkles. Also injured were Roy officer Jason VanderWarf and Weber County Sheriff's Sgt. Nate Hutchinson.

Members of the Francom family were in attendance, as were four of the five injured officers. Burrell was unable to take part.

Majority Leader Brad Dee, R-Ogden, who sponsored a resolution to honor the officers, paid tribute to them and their families.

"Each day, these men carry out their sworn duties as police officers and risk is a constant companion," Dee said.

At any time, Dee said, "they might be called to step between good and evil."

Senate Majority Leader Scott Jenkins, R-Plain City, said he represents four of the officers involved in the raid.

"This was almost beyond belief the buzzsaw these guys walked into that day," Jenkins said.

"We'd like to thank you for your service and sacrifice."

Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, fought back emotion as he thanked the officers for their service.

"I'd like to express my appreciation for these fine men, courageous men who frequently put their lives on the line," he said.

"We know about this incident because it ended in tragedy. We don't know, we're far less aware, they frequently put their lives in danger and they do that without fanfare or recognition."

Sen. Patricia Jones, D-Salt Lake, expressed sympathy to the Francom family on behalf of all Utahns and remarked on the service of police officers.

"It seems to me that we have a very difficult time finding true heroes today, but these folks are heroes," she said.

Another Ogden Republican, Rep. Dixon Pitcher, remarked on the sacrifice of families of police officers: "There is an unbelievable burden that I cannot myself understand until you are a spouse of a law enforcement officer."

While lawmakers may enjoy notoriety because of their positions, Senate President Michael Waddoups said meeting the officers and their respective families was humbling.

"It's days like this, we realize where the real difficult work in our community happens," the Taylorsville Republican said.

The resolution passed unanimously in both houses.

Contributing: Ladd Brubaker