SANTA CRUZ, CA — Friday marked the eighth anniversary of the date that Santa Cruz Police Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker, who was raised in Saratoga, and Detective Elizabeth Butler laid their lives down for their community.
A public memorial was slated to take place in the Santa Cruz Police Department Baker-Butler Memorial Garden, in front of the police station, at 3:23 p.m. — the minute they lost their lives.
Baker and Butler were fatally shot by a sex assault suspect they had gone to interview. The garden was dedicated on the first anniversary of the shooting.
“Sergeant Butch Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler, we thank you for your service, your convictions, and your devotion to duty,” police wrote on Facebook. “May you rest in peace knowing your fellow brothers and sisters are watching over your family and continuing the watch.”
Santa Cruz Police Chief Andrew Mills also chimed in, urging the public to reflect on the sacrifices that Baker and Butler made — not just on the day that they lost their lives, but every single day they served the community.
“The immeasurable impact of their murders has deep scars for their families and this department,” he wrote in a blog post. “One cannot imagine the pain and trauma many members of our department, especially those here at the time, feel when this day rolls around.”
The Watsonville Police Department also paid tribute to the fallen officers, writing, “Their brave souls will never be forgotten.”
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