Santa Cruz police officers return to patrol duty

March 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Santa Cruz police officers returned to the streets Friday morning in a convoy as Santa Cruz County Sheriff's deputies stood at attention. The Sheriff's Department had been patrolling on behalf of officers during their time of mourning for two detectives killed in the line of duty.

Ordinary citizens also came out Friday morning to welcome back the department after the incredibly painful week. An emotional Ron Periggo came to salute the officers.

"I just wanted to come by and support the officers; I just wanted them to know we love them," he said.

Ofc. Wes Morey thanked deputies for protecting the city during a time of crisis. His first call of the day was a broken traffic light near UC Santa Cruz. He said it's good to be back.

"The citizens have been great, it's been a very rough couple of days, we are anxious to get back," he said.

Loran "Butch" Baker and Elizabeth Butler were gunned down Tuesday while they were interviewing suspect Jeremy Goulet as part of a sexual assault investigation.Goulet then stole their car, guns and body armor. He was killed a short time later in a police shootout.

For the quiet beach town, the tragedy is still shocking, and very personal.

"I knew both officers on a personal level, the loss is unbelievable," Periggo said.

Thousands are expected to attend a public memorial service honoring Baker and Butler. The ceremony will be held at HP Pavillion in San Jose beginning at 12 p.m. ABC7 News will carry the memorial on air and online.

A Butch Baker and Elizabeth Butler Scholarship Fund has been established. Donations can be made through the Santa Cruz city website.


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