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OGDEN — The shooting of six police officers in Ogden brought on a stream of community support. One group is even working to form a nonprofit charity as a result.
The newly formed Northern Utah Community Support Group has organized several events for the officers' families already, and its next is planned for Feb. 4. Members of the volunteer group say these events are not only there to help the officers' families, they also to help the community heal.
On Jan. 4, six Weber-Morgan Metro Narcotics Strike Force officers were shot while serving a search warrant at an Ogden home. One of the officers, Agent Jared Francom, later died from his injuries.
"I cried for weeks," said Lacie Skidmore.
It's been overwhelming to (the officers' families), but this is something that really helps the community get through such a tragedy as well.
–Janet Thorsted, group organizer
As an EMT, Skidmore had worked with Francom in the field before. She says his death was a tough loss for everyone.
"He truly was a great man," Skidmore said. "He just always was like, ‘How are you doing Lacie?' You know, ‘How is your family?' (He was) never too busy to say hi."
Skidmore, along with Janet Thorsted and several others, recently formed the Northern Utah Community Support Group. It's a team of volunteers who help organize charity events for families of Francom and the five injured officers.
"They save your life every day; and really, they put their life on the line and they wouldn't have it any other way," Skidmore said.
- Date/Time: Saturday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Location: Ogden Federal Building, 324 25th Street, Ogden
- Details: People will be able to drop off donations for the officers' families, meet some of them, and sign guest books for each of the officers. Tickets to a March 2 benefit banquet for the officers' families will also be sold at the fundraiser. CLICK HERE for more information.
It all started from a Facebook page created in honor of Jared Francom. It was a place for the community to post pictures, get updates and share their feelings.
More than 5,000 followers later, the group decided maybe more could be done for the officers' families.
"It's been overwhelming to them, but this is something that really helps the community get through such a tragedy as well," Thorsted said.
But they say this charity group will continue to serve well beyond helping the families of the police officers. They want to continue to help northern Utah by helping others who are touched by tragedy.
"We're all just one big family. We're a community that cares," Thorsted said.
The group's Feb. 4 event will be held outside the Ogden Federal Building. People will be able to drop off donations for the officers' families, meet some of them, and sign guest books for each of the officers. Tickets to a March 2 benefit banquet for the officer families will also be sold at the fundraiser.