GREENSBORO, N.C. – People with close ties to 24-year-old Greensboro Police Officer Jared Franks say he was selfless, dedicated and a family man.
“He always made me laugh. When you were with Jared you would not stop laughing the whole time,” Jordan Tate said.
Tate has known Jared since they were both kids, and they went to the same church.
“He was caring, and he was carefree at the same time. So, by that I mean that he was a very caring individual. He would give you the shirt off his back if he needed to. But at the same time, he had a very carefree spirit,” Tate said.
Carefree, but dedicated, especially to becoming a police officer.
“Obviously he admired his dad, because he followed in his dad’s footsteps to join the police force,” he said.
So, he was doing what he loved Saturday night. Franks was responding as backup to another officer who was tracking a possible robbery suspect.
The officer told dispatchers they saw a possible robbery at the ABC Store on Randleman Road. That officer followed a suspect for a little more than a mile. Officer Franks responded to help stop the vehicle.
The initial officer was continuing to track the possible suspect, when they saw another patrol car on fire.
Magdalene Hall lives close to where the officer crashed. She said she saw the officer driving fast and worried he would not be able to stop.
“So, we just started praying, and around that time we heard this big explosion, like the sound of a transformer when it blows up,” Hall said.
She had trouble sleeping that night, unable to stop thinking about the young officer who lost his life inside the car.
“There’s so much danger that goes into it. They do good work, but they put their lives on the line to do it,” she said.
This life lost, is one that will be remembered for his love of family, faith and his job.
“The police chief said in the press conference that we lost a hero. And there’s no doubt in my mind about that. Not just to the police force, but to his family and friends as well,” Tate said.
Tate shared some great stories about Franks that really show his character. Like the time he took a young lady with special needs to homecoming, and the friendship he shared with an elderly man. Officer Franks talked to the man almost every day.
Greensboro police say there is not a plan yet for funeral arrangements.