- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

AMERICAN FORK, Utah (AP) - The widow of a slain Ogden police officer is launching a support group for spouses and families of other Utah officers killed in the line of duty.

Erin Francom, whose husband, Jared, was shot and killed Jan. 4, 2012, during a drug raid, is forming a Utah chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, or COPS.

“I’m at a point in my life where I’m ready to talk about it and to take what I’ve learned to help others,” she told the Standard-Examiner of Ogden (https://bit.ly/1jKtI5r ).

Francom said she had a small support network to help her deal with her husband’s death, but nothing like what COPS offers. Among other things, COPS offers counseling, support at trials and a camp for children of fallen officers.

“The children of fallen officers can’t talk with other kids about it,” said Tami McMillan, president of the Northern California branch of COPS. “Our goal is to rebuild shattered lives, which is done through emotional support.”

McMillan visited Utah to help Francom set up the new state chapter.

Francom is also a member of Police Wives of Utah, which began as a result of her husband’s death.

“It’s been really nice to come out and help others, using what I know. And as a result it’s really helped myself out, too,” she said.

Francom said she has reached out to the family of Draper police officer Derek Johnson, who was shot and killed while on duty last September. She said she will wait to contact the family of Utah County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cory Wride, who was fatally shot while on duty in January.

“You need to give them time to mourn on their own,” Francom said. “No two deaths are the same, and everybody mourns differently.”

She has garnered national support for her group, and she hopes to be the foundation of support she wished she had after her husband’s death, Francom said.


Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net

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