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Son of fallen South Salt Lake officer walked to first day of kindergarten by officer 'dads'

Posted at 4:07 PM, Aug 21, 2023

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — When the son of a fallen South Salt Lake police officer couldn't walk with his father to the first day of kindergarten Monday, plenty of others were there to fill in.

Officer David Romrell left behind his 4-month-old son, Jackson, when he was killed in Nov. 2018 after being hit by a car driven by a burglary suspect.

When Jackson headed to his first day of school, his father's colleagues were there as "dads" to walk alongside him and his mother, Elizabeth.

South Salt Lake Police Chief Jack Carruth and officers posed with Jackson on department motorcycles and outside the school before the 5-year-old got a hug from mom and began his kindergarten journey.

Felix Calata, the suspect behind the wheel of the car, was shot and killed by police after he struck Romrell. The passenger in the car, Jeffrey Don Black, was later sentenced up to 30 years in prison.

In 2020, the department posted said group of officers, firefighters and "honorary colonels" presented Elizabeth with the keys to her paid-off house, a gift ponsored by the Stephen Sillers Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which pays off the mortgages of Gold Star families, fallen officers and other first responders.