Utah Police Officer Killed During Drug Raid

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Wednesday night, with search warrant in hand, the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike Force approached a Jackson Avenue home in Ogden, Utah. Just before 9pm, surprised and fearful neighbors noted three firearm pops that sounded like fireworks; after a couple minutes, continuous gunfire was heard. In the aftermath of the shootout, six people were rushed to hospital including five of the drug task force officers and a suspect, 37-year old Matthew David Stewart, the Associated Press reports. A sixth officer, Jared Francom of the Ogden Police Department was killed.

As of this morning, the five strike force officers remain in hospital under serious to critical condition. Stewart, who does not have any life-threatening injuries, is detained in his hospital room.

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Officer Francom had served on the police force for seven years and is survived by his wife and two young kids. He was one of the members of the Weber-Morgan Narcotics Strike force made up of sworn personnel from regional police departments, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration).

Last night, after the shooting began, extra law enforcement officers and a SWAT team were called onto the scene. Police blocked off a four by two block area and yelled to all nosy neighbors to get back inside and stay low to the ground. One witness said she saw the officers yelling at a man hiding in a shed, “Put your hands up … put your hands up!”

Although the strike force was planning on searching Stewart’s home as part of a drug-related investigation, no specific details have been released regarding the nature of the search. The Associated Press states that Stewart has a “limited criminal history”.

As you can see the life of a police officer, sheriff’s deputy or drug enforcement agent can be very dangerous, physically and mentally challenging and ultimately, life threatening. But these professions also serve a vital service to the community and thus can be extremely rewarding. If you would like to become a police officer or deputy, it is often required to have a law enforcement degree or a criminal justice degree along with related experience. After serving some time on the force and upgrading you can become more specialized and rise up the ranks to become a DEA Agent, Police Detective, FBI Agent or other important positions.