SOUTH SALT LAKE (ABC 4 News) – Within hours of the announcement of South Salt Lake Police Officer David Romrell’s death, community members lined city streets with American flags and blue ribbons to honor him and show support for his family.
Laura Leetham is a member of Police Wives of Utah, who went with several wives of SSL police officers to put up blue ribbons around town Sunday morning.
“For us, it’s the least we can do because there’s only so much that we can do at the moment,” said Leetham. “We can pay tribute to him. We can honor him and his family. It may seem small to some, but it’s powerful.”
Patricia Stringer, who lives across the street from the South Salt Lake Police Department, also donned blue ribbons on her house.
“My message to them would be to stay strong, continue to support one another, hold up the family as best as you can, because this is going to be a difficult and trying time for them,” said Stringer.
Stringer said she has always had positive experiences with South Salt Lake police officers. But because of that, she said it breaks her heart knowing that Officer Romrell could have been someone she interacted with.
“It makes me feel really bad because it’s someone personal, you know?” said Stringer. “Someone that you already knew that was kind so it automatically makes me feel bad.”
Romrell is the first officer from South Salt Lake Police Department who was killed in the line of duty. He was a former marine who served multiple tours. He leaves behind his wife, Elizabeth and a four-month-old baby.
Leetham said she wants Elizabeth to know that the community will make sure her family is taken care of.
“They’re family. It’s a tight knit community and you mourn together. You cheer together when good things happen and you lift each other when you need help,” said Leetham.
The Romrell family has created a fundraiser on GoFundMe. To donate, click here.