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South Salt Lake Journal

In their words: remembering Officer David Romrell

Dec 17, 2018 10:22AM ● By Travis Barton

Students from Lincoln Elementary school lined the curb of State Street to pay respects to Officer David Romrell as the procession passed by. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

A Marine, a police officer, a friend, a husband and a father. David Romrell was all of these and more to those who knew him. 

Friends, family and countless members of law enforcement from around the valley, state and country came to pay their respects and honor the fallen police officer. South Salt Lake Police Officer Romrell was killed on Nov. 24 responding to a burglary call. 

On Dec. 5, loved ones and well-wishers gathered at the Maverik Center for Romrell’s funeral to remember a man known for his affection for his standard-issue short shorts from the Marine Corps called “silkies,” sense of humor and positive attitude. 

Here are some of their words. 

Elizabeth Romrell, David’s wife, love letter to him read by close friend Michelle Watts 

“I still remember the night that our eyes met across the crowded room. We were both initially too shy to build up the courage to speak to one another, but eventually we did. In that moment, I knew that I had met my best friend and the love of my life. 

Four years of courtship, eight years of marriage and one baby Jackson later, we are still together, more in love than I ever could have imagined.”

Officer David Romrell was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 24 and his funeral was on Dec. 5, a day proclaimed by Mayor Cherie Wood as a day of remembrance for the fallen officer. (Courtesy South Salt Lake Police Department)

 “David, you opened my heart and showed me how to love unconditionally. You brought me joy, happiness, excitement and adventure. Most importantly, you brought me Jackson, our baby critter.

“He will know that Daddy was a warrior, he will know how brave, strong and loving his father was. He will the know the stories of his dad getting into trouble skateboarding, how he could rampage a bag of chips, how he loved prancing around in his ‘silkies.’

“He will know that no one could make him laugh the way his daddy could. He will know the love his Daddy has for him, every day.

“Our son will know you would do anything to protect him. Ultimately giving your life to make sure he was safe.”

“I will love you forever.” 

Jack Carruth, South Salt Lake Police Chief

“We know David was fully aware of the risk he was taking as he started each shift. But David didn’t fear that. David was a warrior, a protector and a servant to his country and to our community. 

David was much more than just a warrior. David knew he served a community, and he understood the role as a South Salt Lake police officer. He understood that the service was much more than just responding to a call when needed. He understood that the community needs were much greater. And those needs required engaging our residents and business owners, developing relationships beyond that call for service.”

[After describing him as a sheepdog who protects the lambs] “Even though the sheepdog describes who David could be and the courage he had. I didn’t feel it truly captured David in my perspective. So, I wrote my own quote for David:

‘When an officer’s heart is larger than their courage, there shall be no better guardian worthy of wearing a badge.’

“That was David to me.” 

“During all of our conversations, I always remember thinking to myself how excited I was for David. David had so much to experience, so much to learn. He had no idea of all the great things he would accomplish. 

“My last conversation with David consisted of how excited he was to be a father. You could hear it in his voice and see it in his eyes, he loved Jackson.”

“He will forever be in our hearts, he will stay strong, we will move forward together. And we will forever honor David as we memorialize him in the days and the years to come.”

Scott Hall, retired Marine Corps master sergeant, deployed twice with David

“I did not know that he had applied and was accepted to the police academy, but I was glad that he did, because it was very fitting for him and what he wanted to do.

“He always wanted to help people, no matter which way.” 

“David Romrell, he meant a lot to his Marines. He meant a lot to this community. From what I have learned, he will forever be missed by all his brothers in arms, brothers in blue, family and friends.

“David Romrell, ‘til Valhalla my friend.”

Kevin Wyatt, friend and former police officer

“I interviewed about the position (with Wyatt’s private investigations firm). In the meeting, David was very polite as I would expect from a Marine. David was also very quiet and short with his answers. I also thought that was David being a Marine, that was David actually being humble.”

“[While on assignment doing surveillance] he’s taking video, narrating into the camera and the camera trails off to this lady wearing short shorts walking into the mall and all he says is, ‘Kevin, this one’s for you.’ And then turned back to the subject.” 

“A couple of months ago, got a text of his totaled police car, the caption read, ‘lol.’ 

“He said the airbag went off when the fleeing stolen car crashed into him, jumped across the hood, chased him down, tased him and took him into custody.”

“In the past several days I’ve spent a lot of time with David’s family and friends, many of them I’d never met. What I found is that David was a jokester with everyone he called family. David was lighthearted with everyone and David was genuine with everyone.

“These stories go on and on and on. But every one of the stories are similar in their own way. That is, David was just a genuine dude who loved his friends and family.”

Andrew Horrocks, close friend

“We enjoyed motorcycle rides, camping and shooting…for his 30th birthday he asked me for a pull-up bar and I thought, ‘What 30 year old wants a pull-up bar for their birthday?’, but that was David.”

“David was one hell of a man. He left a good impression on everyone that met him. He may be gone, but he will not be forgotten. I will surely miss his advice as well as his big, great hugs. I love you Romrell, till we meet again.”