Police wives make hundreds of ribbons for fallen South Salt Lake officer’s funeral

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- Wives of law enforcement officers across northern Utah have been getting together to make hundreds of memorial ribbons to be worn at the funeral of South Salt Lake Officer David Romrell.

Romrell died on Nov. 24 after officers responded to a call of a burglary. South Salt Lake Police said two suspects fleeing the scene in a car purposely drove into Officer Romrell.

Since that day, police officer wives have been hosting ribbon making events. 

In Tooele, more than a dozen women gathered one night this week. At first glance, it might look like a girls group gathering for a fun craft night.

They cut black and blue ribbons from spools, folded them in a loop, and secured the loops with hot glue.

As the women punched star brads through the loops, the conversation turned to law enforcement.

"So your husband works for Salt Lake?" Yohana Gardner asked another woman. Many of the women in the group were just meeting for the first time.

Yet they already knew each other on a deeper level, and formed what they called an "instant bond."

"We all share the same lifestyle and we all understand," said Shandy Hayden. "It's just one big family."

Gardner is married to a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper, and Hayden's husband works for the Tooele County Sheriff's Office.

They conveyed understanding the law enforcement life, and the pain that can come with it.

"I just can't believe we're here again," Gardner said.

Here again, and hurting after another line-of-duty death.

"When an officer's down we all feel it, because it hits very close to home," Gardner said. "We all feel it."

Officer Romrell's wife is forced to carry on without him, and raise their 4-month old baby. What she's going through, these wives know, could easily become their own realities.

"It could be you getting that call any day," said Darcee Oliva, the wife of a Salt Lake City Police officer. "It`s a hard reality."

"You never want to think that it`s going to be them," Hayden said, getting choked up. "But we all kind of just have in the back of our mind, it could be."

That's why they come together for their fellow blue wife who is suffering. In addition to making the memorial ribbons, they said wives have reached out to help Officer Romrell's wife and baby, and as well as offered donations to her.

As the women made each ribbon, they described how it brings them closer together, and sends a powerful message of support.

"Everybody that shows up to funeral that day, is going to be wearing a symbol," said Sergeant Rhonda Fields with the Grantsville Police Department.

A symbol of family, made with love-- and worn with unity.