Greensboro, NC – Greensboro Police Officer Jared Franks died in the line of duty on Saturday night, when he crashed into another patrol vehicle while searching for a robbery suspect.
“It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that both the department and this community have lost a hero,” Greensboro Police Chief Wayne Scott said during a press conference on Sunday morning.
It was the department’s first line-of-duty death in 17 years.
The incident began at approximately 7:45 p.m., when a plainclothes officer in an unmarked vehicle observed a possible robbery in progress, Chief Scott said.
The officer immediately alerted dispatch about what was occurring, and multiple units began heading in his direction.
“One of those officers that responded was Officer Jared William Franks,” Chief Scott said.
Officer Franks, 24, had been with the department for nearly one year.
The plainclothes officer followed the suspect, who drove away from the scene of the robbery while additional units were still on their way.
“The initial officer had lost sight of the individual in question,” so the officers were patrolling the area in an attempt to find the suspect, Chief Scott said.
As he was responding to the scene, Officer Franks crashed into another patrol vehicle, then collided with the foundation of an occupied house in the area of Webster Road and South Elm/Eugene Street, according to the chief.
The residents inside the home were not injured during the crash, and a second officer was transported to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injures.
He has since been released.
“Despite our best efforts for first aid, Officer Franks was transported from the scene, and then perished…at about 8:17 p.m.,” Chief Scott said somberly.
“Quite frankly, [this] has been some of the most trying times for this police department…that I’ve experienced as chief,” he explained. “It’s been a very difficult night.”
Chief Scott said the department has received a “tremendous outpouring of support” from hundreds of people in the wake of Officer Franks’ tragic death.
“We are thankful that we have family, and that this department is one large family and this community is one large family at a time when we lose someone so precious to us,” Chief Scott said.
Although he had only been with the department for a short while, Officer Franks “did outstanding work for this department and this city,” the chief added.
The cause of the collision, as well as the investigation into the robbery, are both ongoing.
Officer Franks was hired by the Greensboro Police Department in June of 2016, and graduated from the department’s 101st police academy.
He was sworn in as a Greensboro police officer in March, following in the footsteps of several of his family members, according to the chief.
Officer Franks had a “great reputation” and “cared about his community,” Chief Scott added.
“Every officer [who] puts on this uniform understands when they leave their house the consequences they may endure, and every family who supports an officer knows that as well,” the chief said. “Unfortunately, last night, those worst fears came to be true for one family.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Greensboro Police Officer Jared Franks, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.