Fallen Heroes : Santa Cruz Detective Elizabeth Butler & Sgt. Loren Baker

26 Feb

I looked  up the definition of the word hero in the dictionary today. It had several meanings, but the best one was “one who shows great courage.” Sadly, two police officers proved this to be true today with their lives.  Until today, the Santa Cruz, California,  police department had never lost anyone in the line of duty. Two of their police officers were killed in a shootout outside a home, where they were investigating a  sexual assault case, about 3 p.m. The  suspected shooter  escaped, but was chased and  killed in a hail of gunfire unleashed by police officers, some thirty minutes later, on Doyle street. Several law enforcement agencies including SWAT and the FBI,  searched the area, but later determined that the shooter acted alone. There was no need for this senseless shooting.  I mean, what was going through the mind of the shooter? What did he do that was so bad that he didn’t want to go to jail? I don’t understand. I can only imagine that this morning the last thing these two heroes were thinking is that they would be shot and killed today. I am sure that officers think about it, but, realistically, for the most part, and speaking from experience, law enforcement is about 99 percent boring! Yes, whether you believe or not, this is true.  But, it is that other 1 percent that makes an officers pulse race, and his/her adrenaline flow. It is not everyday that an officer might pull out their  sidearm out, or to even fire it. But, it does happen.  It is nothing like you see on TV shows. Whenever  an officer fires their weapon, they spend hours being investigated, retelling the events of the shooting, over and over again, to many people, and  spending more hours completing reports in detail. This applies even to accidental discharges.  What about those loved ones and friends that these two officers leave behind? Detective Butler leaves behind 2 small boys, ages 2 & 5.  Time has passed, and things have changed, but I remember a time years ago, when police officers were treated with respect.  Law abiding citizens  never thought of harming a police officer.  Today, criminals have  become more brazen. They  have lost respect for those working in law enforcement. All they see is a badge, the don’t see the person behind it.  If someone is willing to shoot and kill you, then they don’t value a life, much alone their own. There is a reason they call certain  situations  a time of “desperation.” While I didn’t know any of these people, the fact that this is the first time ever that the city has lost an officer in the line of duty, tells me something about the city, and the residents of Santa Cruz. Crime is not biased. It happens everyday, and everywhere. These 2 fallen officers are heroes in my eyes. The fact that they were willing to give up their lives for others when they pinned on that badge, says plenty about them. Dedication, bravery, and the ultimate sacrifice: giving your life for others. Now, that is what a true hero is.

santa cruz officers killed


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