SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - "To our community, you guys are the best and we love you. Thank you," said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel to thousands of Santa Cruz Warriors fans at Monday night's game against the Idaho Stampede.
It was an emotional and heartfelt thank you to the Santa Cruz community from the police department for an outpouring of support, as the Warriors remembered and honored fallen police officers Sergeant Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler.
As Santa Cruz police continue to mourn such a great loss, the Warriors had a unique and special halftime show to honor all of the men and women, who protect us everyday. Everyone inside the arena rose to thank local law enforcement and first responders for their commitment to public safety. It marked an important moment for the community.
The crowd roared, clapped and cheered, as two jerseys with Sergeant Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler's names and badge numbers were retired at the top of the Kaiser Permanente Arena. Warriors fans said they got choked up.
"It brought a tear to my eye because those names will be up there forever and its pretty cool," said Santa Cruz County resident Addam Stark.
Baker and Butler's surviving family members watched the game from the sidelines and were recognized during halftime. Representatives from eight different departments in Santa Cruz County were also honored for helping the police department during its darkest hour. Both Baker and Butler were killed last month, during a routine investigation. Police Chief Kevin Vogel says remembering them locally, is helping the department heal.
"We have just gotten so much support and they've made us, really helped us get through this tragic event," said Chief Vogel.
Santa Cruz Warriors president Jim Weyermann hopes giving Sergeant Baker and Detective Butler the top honor in the sports world, means their service will never be forgotten, as thousands of locals visit the arena each game.
"We hope that tonight's dedication will forever tell the stories of these two officers who paid the ultimate price for the safety of this community," Weyermann said.
President Weyermann said those two jerseys will stay at the top of the arena permanently. Mayor Hillary Bryant also spoke during halftime, to thank the community for its support.
Thursday, December 12 2013 2:25 AM EST2013-12-12 07:25:54 GMT
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Central Coast News has learned the victim of last Friday's hit-and-run accident in Santa Barbara has died from her injuries.27-year-old Mallory Rae Dies had been hospitalized sinceMore >>
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Central Coast News has learned the victim of last Friday's hit-and-run accident in Santa Barbara has died from her injuries.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 1:34 AM EST2013-12-12 06:34:56 GMT
SANTA MARIA - Timothy McNally entered Santa Maria Superior Court Wednesday morning hoping to get a third jury trial in the shooting death of Victorville Federal Prison guard Gary Bent inside a LompocMore >>
Timothy McNally was seeking third jury trial in shooting death of fellow prison guard Gary Bent.More >>
Thursday, December 12 2013 1:32 AM EST2013-12-12 06:32:25 GMT
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY - The Central Coast has lost a leading voice in the ongoing debate about pollution and offshore oil drilling. Bruce Allen, co-founder of SOS California, or "Stop Oil Seeps" California hasMore >>
Bruce Allen advocated scientific evidence to show harm from natural oil seeps along California coast.
Thursday, December 12 2013 1:29 AM EST2013-12-12 06:29:32 GMT
NIPOMO, Calif. - Authorities have identified the body found in a drainage ditch in rural Nipomo as 26-year-old Silvestre Montalban Lopez of Guerrero, Mexico.San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's deputies foundMore >>
NIPOMO, Calif. - Authorities have identified the body found in a drainage ditch in rural Nipomo as 26-year-old Silvestre Montalban Lopez of Guerrero, Mexico.More >>