College scholarship program honors Utah’s fallen officers

May 7, 2024, 6:53 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm

SALT LAKE CITY The legacy of Utah’s police officers killed in the line of duty is being honored through a scholarship program for college students.

On Tuesday, the Utah 1033 Foundation named three recipients of the 2024 Fallen Hero Leadership Award.

“I have all their names on here, I was looking at it,” said Jessica Markland, one of this year’s recipients.

Markland’s dad is an officer with the Utah Transit Authority police force. She said she wants to follow in his footsteps with a life in public service.

“I’ve always admired my dad for his service,” Markland said. “I hope to be able to contribute as well to that community as a teacher.”

Sienna Wycoff is another recipient of this year’s leadership awards.

“It’s also very humbling. My father worked alongside Cody Brotherson who passed away in 2016,” Wycoff said.  “Knowing that I’m able to take that into whatever future I have… I’m able to say that I carried these names with me.”

“My kids have known about Cody and I’m tearing up right now, thinking about it,” Justin Wycoff, Sienna Wycoff’s dad and officer in the West Valley City Police Department. “It’s wonderful.”

On Tuesday, the Utah 1033 Foundation named three recipients of the 2024 Fallen Hero Leadership Award. (KSL TV)

What the foundation provides

The foundation also provides immediate financial assistance to the families of police officers killed in the line of duty.

“They say it’s a brotherhood or the thin blue line but I think it goes even more than that it’s such a family. When something happens to one officer, and you may not even know them, but you feel it,” Justin Wycoff said.

The recent loss of Sgt. Bill Hooser hits home for the recipients and organizers.

“I would be lying to you if I didn’t say that we didn’t consider canceling today,” said Dave Kaufman, president of the foundation. “The general feeling was how can we proceed with it but going along with that was sort of the sense of how can we not proceed with it?”

“We were just down there yesterday in Santaquin visiting the family… it’s that fresh and that raw and that new,” Kaufman said.

During the awards ceremony, a moment of silence was held in honor of Hooser who was killed on Sunday while helping a trooper from the Utah Highway Patrol with a traffic stop involving a semitruck. The suspect allegedly struck Hooser and rammed his and the trooper’s vehicles.

“He was definitely part of what we did here,” Kaufman said. “We work to preserve their memory, we don’t want the names of our fallen heroes to be forgotten.”

The awards ceremony was held at the Zions Bank Founders Room in Salt Lake City.

The foundation gets its name from the “10-33” police code which means that an officer is in urgent need of help.

According to its website, it is a nonprofit foundation.

On Monday, the foundation announced the delivery of a $25,000 check to Hooser’s family.

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College scholarship program honors Utah’s fallen officers