Film honors officers, including Utah park ranger shot in the line of duty

Posted at 10:15 PM, Feb 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-01 00:15:17-05

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah -- The drama of their everyday lives captured on film by British Academy Award winning director Wayne Derrick is still hard to compare to the lives of law enforcement members off the big screen.

“He shot me nine times,” said Utah State Park ranger Brody Young.

He is the focus of one of many tales depicted in the documentary, “Heroes Behind the Badge: Sacrifice and Survival.” The movie was screened for the first time in Utah at Pleasant Grove High School Friday night.

In the film, Young took a camera crew back to the trailhead in Moab where he nearly died in November 2010.  Young was checking on a parked car at the Poison Spider Mesa trailhead one night, when the driver suddenly opened fire on him, hitting him in the arm, leg and stomach.

“I’m lucky to be here, vertical and mobile, to be honest,” Young said.

Now back at work, Young believes his duty to the public has grown past just his day job, which is what prompted him to participate in the documentary.

“For me, wanting to be a part of it was to bring that awareness of what a cop goes through on a daily basis,” Young said. “When he walks out that door and says goodbye to his family, there’s a chance that he’s not going to come back that night.”

It’s a story seen throughout the movie and through the eyes of Utah families.

In the last three years, three members of Utah law enforcement were killed in the line of duty. The statistic is what brought Erin Francom to the screening. Her husband, Ogden police officer Jared Francom, was shot and killed in January 2012.

“They’re not the bad guys because they pulled you over for going five over,” Francom said. “They’re there to protect us, to do their job, to help you.”

She helped start the nonprofit group, Police Wives of Utah, and now serves to raise awareness in honor of her husband.

“I just know I want to help,” Francom said. “And somehow I seem to have been able to do that. And it’s something good that came out of everything.”

Francom was featured in a previous documentary “Heroes Behind the Badge.”

Her hope is that for the hundreds who came to watch the screening, the movie is a glimpse into the dangerous reality officers face every day.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund and Modern City Entertainment collaborated to create the film. Half of the proceeds from Friday’s showing were given to the fund to assist in its mission to honor the service and sacrifice of law enforcement members.