LAYTON -- A new foundation formed to benefit the family members of police officers killed in the line of duty has presented a $25,000 check to the widow of Ogden Police Officer Jared Francom.
The Utah 1033 Foundation presented the check Thursday to Erin Francom following Wednesday's shooting of six members of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force while they were serving a search warrant.
Francom died early Thursday at Ogden Regional Medical Center.
The foundation solicits funds fro Be a Hero, Save a Life, Be an Organ Donor m corporations and individuals to help family members of fallen officers get over the initial financial shock of their loved one's death, said Park City resident Tore Steen, who founded the group with his wife, Mona.
"We set it up early last year. I wish we had done it a long time ago," Steen said. "We wanted to find a way to benefit the community in which we live."
While running a business in New York City, Steen said, he had an opportunity to participate in a ride-along with a New York police officer. It was after that experience that Steen and his wife wanted to do something for officers and their families.
"When they open that (patrol) car door, they don't know what they are going to meet. They put their lives on the line," he said of police officers.
That is why the foundation is named the Utah 1033 Foundation, as the 1033 police call means "officer needs help urgently," Steen said.
"I enjoy asking people to put up money for a worthy cause, and I can't imagine one more worthy than this," said Steen, whose goal is to present $25,000 to the family of every fallen Utah officer from here on out.
Steen said the money may not help families through the grieving process, but it will help with the financial shock that comes with a death.
Steen, Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter, Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds and Layton Police Chief Terry Keefe, who is president of the Utah Police Chiefs Association, presented the check to Erin Francom at the Ogden police station.
"I think the work that has been done by Steen and the foundation reaffirms the public's commitment to support the families of fallen officers. I think the work by Steen and the original members of the foundation shows tremendous support to law enforcement officers throughout the state of Utah," Keefe said.
"As a police chief, it is reassuring to me to know that there are individuals like Steen, and the foundation, who have stepped forward to make a commitment to law enforcement officers and their families when the officer makes the ultimate sacrifice during the performance of their duties."
* Donations at Bank of Utah for the officers have reached "the five-figure range," Vice President Scott Parkinson said Monday. Privacy issues prevent the bank from saying specifically how much has been raised.
"I think the significant thing here is the amazing support from the community," Parkinson said, with many calls of offers to help coming in.
* Ambiance Salon, 972 E. Chambers St., No. 4. South Ogden, is offering free haircuts to police officers, beginning today and going through Jan. 21.
* A demolition derby will be held from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Golden Spike Event Center Outdoor Stadium. The cost is $16 for adults and $8 for children. Money will go to assist the officers and their families.