Not only is the local community mourning the death of San Luis Obispo Police Detective Luca Benedetti, but the state and nation as a whole are paying their respects.
On Monday, May 10, Det. Benedetti was shot and killed while serving a search warrant with other officers at an apartment on Camellia Court.
First responders from Northern to Southern California and everywhere in between showed up to support Det. Benedetti's family and the San Luis Obispo community during a memorial service on Thursday.
“He was a good human being and a good police officer,” said Peter Brinkerhoff, Vandenberg Fire Department engineer and paramedic.
Law enforcement from every Central Coast agency and beyond attended the memorial service and procession.
The Redding Police Department, Menlo Park Police Department, Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office, Carson City Nevada Sheriff’s Office, City of Fresno Police, Manhattan Beach Police, and San Diego County Sheriff’s Office were just some of the agencies involved.
So many agencies in attendance for @SLOCityPolice Det. Luca Benedetti’s memorial service at Cal Poly. I’ve seen law enforcement from San Francisco and Menlo Park, Huntington Beach and San Diego to Tulare and Kern County. Thousands are in attendance @KSBY pic.twitter.com/HR1vLj9DWQ— Megan Healy (@MeganHealyTV) May 20, 2021
“When any officer in the nation dies, it's tragic, but when it's close to home it really makes you think,” said Sgt. Noel Rivas, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. “You just never know the day you put on the badge that you may not come home.”
Officers from the San Francisco area where Benedetti grew up and Burlingame, where he went to high school, flashed red and blue lights in memory of the fallen officer.
“We knew Luca very well and he was an integral part of the team, but we also understand that we need to be there for our brothers and sisters,” said San Luis Obispo City Fire Battalion Chief Ray Hais. “This is part of the healing process, to get together and put on an amazing farewell event for our fallen brother."
The San Luis Obispo City Fire Department, along with other local agencies, coordinated Thursday's memorial service, showing love for Benedetti's family.
Vandenberg Fire paramedic Peter Brinkerhoff remembered the brave detective, working with Benedetti to help a suicidal man in San Luis Obispo one afternoon.
“[Det. Benedetti] brought calm and order to the chaos. He brought compassion to this individual who was having the worst day of his life,” Brinkerhoff said.
He said his heart goes out to Benedetti's wife and two young daughters.
“They can live their lives knowing their father was a hero,” Brinkerhoff said.
Former San Luis Obispo Police Chief Deanna Cantrell stood in front with current Chief Rick Scott as officers carried Benedetti's casket.
These men and women, brothers and sisters in law enforcement, are leaning on each other during this emotional time.
“This shows you the unity and that this community has come together to help this officer's family,” Sgt. Rivas said.
The Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly reached capacity and thousands more watched the memorial service in overflow areas at Spanos Stadium and online.
Many said it was just the start of the healing process and asked for the community's support in the days and weeks ahead.