Police Officers Step Up as ‘Fill-in Dads’ and Escort Fallen Officer’s Son to His First Day of Kindergarten

On a sunny Monday morning in Utah, a heartwarming scene unfolded outside a school building. Little Jackson Romrell, son of a fallen Utah police officer, was all set for his first day of kindergarten. But his walk to school wasn’t like that of many other children; Jackson was escorted by a sea of blue—uniformed officers from the South Salt Lake Police Department, acting as stand-in fathers, flanking him and his mother.

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Jackson was a mere 4 months old when tragedy struck his family. His father, Officer David Romrell of the South Salt Lake Police Department, was tragically killed in November 2018. Romrell, responding to a burglary call, was hit by a vehicle driven by the suspects.

According to the South Salt Lake website, Officer Romrell’s commitment went beyond the badge; he “devoted his entire adult life to serving his country and the community.” Before donning the police uniform, Romrell had served several tours with the Marine Corps. His legacy is not just remembered through his work, but through stories shared by those who were fortunate enough to know him.

On that memorable Monday, amidst the pack of officers, Police Chief Jack Carruth joined the young boy and his mother, providing support and showing unity. Photographs captured by the department show Jackson perched atop a motorcycle, surrounded by his “fill-in dads,” creating a memory he’s likely to cherish for years.

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The gestures didn’t stop there. The previous day, the South Salt Lake Police Department had organized the Utah Fallen Officer Motorcycle Ride, an event to honor the brave souls who laid down their lives in the line of duty. David Romrell’s name echoed among the honored. Jackson and his mother were special attendees. And in a tribute to his late father, young Jackson was seen riding a toy motorcycle.