SANTA CRUZ (KCBS) – Officers from the Santa Cruz Police Department were now expected to resume patrols on Friday, authorities said, following the shooting that took the lives of two Santa Cruz police officers.
Deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office have handled patrols and service calls in Santa Cruz since Sgt. Loran Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler were shot and killed investigating a sexual assault on Tuesday, the first time Santa Cruz police officers have been killed in the line of duty.
“We’re providing grief counseling services to our officers, and we’re doing the best job we can as we know how to help our staff recover from this horrific event,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Phil Vogel.
Vogel had planned to have his officers back on the job Thursday morning, but delayed their return as the department continues to deal with the aftermath of the slayings.
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Sheriff Phil Wowak has appealed to the public for any cell phone video that may have been recorded during the search for 35-year-old Jeremy Goulet, the suspect who also died in the gunfight.
“We know that community members who witnessed this incident could help us put pieces of the puzzle together and ultimately find out why this occurred,” he said.
The police fatalities come as the city grapples with the recent murder of a downtown businessman, both crimes that Santa Cruz County Supervisor Neal Coonerty pointed out appear to have been committed by suspects new to the city.
“This is a good town and good people and this is not who we are. We have to deal with it. This is inflicted on us, but it’s not who we are,” Coonerty said.
The City of Santa Cruz has set up a scholarship fund in the slain officers’ names. To donate, visit the city’s website.
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