Today thousands of officers from across the state and throughout the country came to honor two fallen officers of the Santa Cruz Police Department. Detective Sergeant "Butch" Baker (28 year veteran) and Detective Elizabeth Butler (10 year veteran) were shot and killed last week while conducting an investigation on a violent sexual predator. These officers were the first to die in the line of duty in the 137 year history of the SCPD department.
This morning a motorcade/ procession was led from the Santa Cruz Boardwalk to the HP Pavillion, in San Jose, where the memorial was held. The public support was awe-inspiring, with every highway overpass and city street from Santa Cruz to downtown San Jose lined with citizens.
I had met both Butch and Elizabeth several times, but regret to say I did not know them well. I saw them moments after they were murdered, as I was among the first responding units to arrive. The suspect was killed after he fired on perimeter officers shortly after my arrival. Because of our close exposure to the incident, the memorial service was especially touching, and a fine tribute to a brave man and woman. I thought I'd share some of the photos taken by myself and my friends during the day.
As a side note, please don't get the wrong idea because of the smiles you'll see in some of the photos. Everyone involved was torn up emotionally, but you can't help but smile at the brotherhood and sisterhood of having such a tight law enforcement family. We also overcome grief by trying to see the happiness in life.
On to the pictures;
Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office (the finest department in the nation...yes, I'm biased) going up Hwy 17:
Watsonville PD lined up in front of the Beach Boardwalk:
San Jose PD lining Hwy 85: