OGDEN -- Efforts to help family and co-workers of the late Jared Francom witness his name being placed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., took a huge leap forward Wednesday when Kier Corporation donated $10,000.
Francom was an Ogden police officer serving on the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force who was wounded Jan. 4 while serving a search warrant in Ogden and died early the next morning. Five other officers were injured in the shootout.
The Ogden Police Department is trying to raise enough money to send Francom's extended family, other officers involved in the shooting and other co-workers to Washington in May for National Police Week.
During that week, Francom's name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. The wall has the names of 362 officers from around the country who have died in the line of duty, with more added every spring.
In addition to Francom's name, the name of Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Aaron Beesley will be added to the memorial. Beesley, a resident of Bear River City, died in June during a helicopter rescue of stranded hikers on Mount Olympus, near Salt Lake City.
Norma Kier, who with her late husband, Jim, founded Kier Corporation construction and property management, donated the $10,000 during a ceremony Wednesday at the Ogden Police Department.
The money was raised at the James E. Kier Memorial Golf Tournament this year. The annual tournament generates funds donated to worthy charities, often local schools or medical foundations.
Steve Kier, Norma's son, said the family was anxious to help Francom's family and fellow officers this year.
"From the moment the tragedy took place, we got together as a family and hoped there was some way we could help," he said after his mother presented the check to Chief Mike Ashment.
Ashment said he wanted a formal presentation ceremony Wednesday because "I wanted to recognize the Kier family because of their generosity, but this is also such a big thing."
"We want to get as many people back there as possible," he said regarding the memorial ceremony in Washington.
Ashment said the C.O.P.S. (Concerns of Police Survivors) foundation will pay to send Francom's wife and children to the event. He hopes to raise enough to send Francom's parents and siblings, as well as the other officers involved in January's shooting, both wounded and not.
Ashment said he is hoping to raise enough for about 20 people, or an estimated $30,000.
Helping out, and taking part in Wednesday's ceremony, was Gwen Peterson, who founded the Hope for Widows Foundation, a peer resource group for widows.
Peterson said she's helping Ashment raise funds for the police memorial trip because both Francom and Beesley left widows, but mostly because "I have had the honor to live across the street from Jared's parents for 10 years."
* Donations can be made at www.hopeforwidows.org. The group is also trying to collect sky miles to help send people to Washington, D.C., to witness Jared Francom's name being placed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. Call 801-719-2276 to arrange to do that.
* Donations can also be made at any Wells Fargo Bank in a special account set up in Jared Francom's name.
* Donations can also be sent to the Jared Francom Memorial Fund, c/o Ogden Police Department, 2186 Lincoln Ave., Ogden. Make the check out to Ogden Police and put "Jared Francom" on the note section.