Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
Jed Boal Reporting The likable, unassuming hero and his wife talked with Matt Lauer this morning on the Today Show. In such a tragic story as the Trolley Square mass murder, it's an emotional relief when a hero emerges. That's what several communication consultants told me this morning when I talked with them about Ogden Police Officer Kenneth Hammond.
Central Casting would have a tough time finding a better character. Humble cop on a Valentine's date with his pregnant wife stops a killer's rampage.
Matt Lauer: "You truly feel you were there for a reason. Do you think you're a hero"?
Officer Kenneth Hammond: "Given the same exact situation, given the same equipment I had, any other off-duty police officer would have reacted and done the same thing I did."
Ogden Police Officer Kenneth Hammond stepped up to stop the killing at Trolley Square and a day later stepped up to the microphone to calmly, clearly and humbly tell us what he did.
Officer Hammond: "If I have the opportunity to protect more lives, I have an obligation."
His reluctance to be labeled a hero makes Hammond's story even more appealing.
Officer Hammond: "I was there, and I did what I needed to do."
A media specialist with the Intrepid Group told me he couldn't get enough of the story. A specialist with Love Communications said the story is so compelling he wouldn't be surprised to see a movie of some kind. They both thought Hammond's humble demeanor was the most attractive aspect. Plus, he's an unlikely guy to exploit the situation.
The officer talked on the Doug Wright Show this morning, ever mindful that families are grieving.
Officer Hammond: "I guess the saving grace in all this is after I encountered the suspect, nobody else was injured except for the suspect."
Doug Wright, KSL Newsradio: "It's just extremely touching to talk to him. I think he's the all-American image of a police officer. To think that guys like Ken Hammond are out there protecting us just makes you feel good."
The media specialists say it's difficult to predict what the exposure will bring Hammond, if anything. The Utah Film Commission has not had any calls, yet the day after Elizabeth Smart was found the phone rang all day.
There are a couple of honors planned.