Santa Cruz Warriors to Host "Public Safety Night" on March 25 to Honor Santa Cruz Law Enforcement Agencies

On Monday, March 25, the Santa Cruz Warriors will stand together with Santa Cruz Police and all local law enforcement agencies to reaffirm our community’s support for the public servants who keep us safe. Thanks to the generosity of realtor Paul Locatelli, 400 representatives from local law enforcement and emergency responder agencies will be in attendance for “Public Safety Night” as they are recognized for their tireless work.

“As a long-standing member of this community, I feel it’s imperative that we all rally around our public safety officers,” said Locatelli. “The officers are always there when we need them – day or night – and now it’s time that we are there for them during their time of need.”

A special presentation is planned for halftime in memory of Sgt. Butch Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler, two Santa Cruz police officers who lost their lives in the line of duty last month. During the ceremony, the Warriors will retire jerseys for both officers with their names and badge numbers, which will hang in the arena in perpetuity.

“The greatest honor a basketball team can award anyone is the retirement of their jerseys,” said Jim Weyermann, President of the Santa Cruz Warriors. “It signifies the highest level of performance and contribution of an individual to the goals and objectives of the team. In this case, Sgt. Baker and Det. Butler gave the ultimate sacrifice for the good of this community and, as such, we believe they should be recognized in this way. Our hope is that their story will be told for generations to come, as every person who walks in the arena will have the opportunity to see the jerseys and we will have the opportunity to tell their story. This marks the beginning of our ongoing celebration and acknowledgement of the ultimate sacrifice they provided.”

Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant and Police Chief Kevin Vogel will speak for the City and the Police Department during the halftime presentation, to recognize the amazing legacy that Sgt. Butch Baker and Det. Elizabeth Butler left behind for the community and discuss how we can all move forward together to honor that legacy.

“Speaking on behalf of the Santa Cruz Police Department, our Fire Department, the Sheriff’s Office and our local law enforcement partners, I am so appreciative of this recognition,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel. “The loss of Butch and Elizabeth has deeply affected us all and we are so thankful for the tremendous outpouring of support from our community; it certainly has lifted our spirits when we needed it most.”

“The entire community has rallied behind our Police Department,” added Mayor Hilary Bryant. “We owe Butch and Elizabeth and their families a tremendous debt for their sacrifice, and we can best honor them by coming together as a community to make Santa Cruz safe for everyone.”

For more information, please contact Matt de Nesnera, Public and Community Relations Manager with the Santa Cruz Warriors, or Scott Collins, Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Santa Cruz, at (831) 420-5017.