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Community members pay respects for fallen SLOPD officer with vigil and memorial

Posted at 4:59 PM, May 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 02:39:10-04

Community members are stopping by the San Luis Obispo Police Department to pay their respects for Detective Luca Benedetti.

Det. Benedetti died Monday when a commercial buglrary suspect shot at officers who were serving a search warrant at an apartment on Camellia Court.

Flowers, balloons, flags and other mementos surround the police station on Walnut St.

"When I saw on the news that he had passed away, my heart hurt. It ached. I was with a couple of friends and we decided he deserves for us to pay our respects," San Luis Obispo County resident Chloe Medlock said.

People showing their respects at the police department said Det. Benedetti was a kind, hard-working man who cared about the community.

"You can always tell just by a small interaction with somebody whether they're great or not great. That guy was so cool. He was always helping us out," said resident Jack Empey.

Community members can also drop off flags outside of San Luis Obispo City Hall.

The San Luis Obispo City Fire Department also has a memorial banner and flags to remember Det. Benedetti.

A public memorial was also held Friday outside of City Hall, followed by a car parade and candlelight vigil was held at Mission Plaza.

"I didn't get a chance to meet him, I didn't get a chance to get to know him, but I am doing that now. I am learning who he was through the stories of the incredible men and women that served alongside him," San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott said at the vigil.

The vigil, attended by hundreds of people, was organized by a Templeton resident Erik Gotham.

"Well my hope was, and what it meant to me was to start healing in the city, in the county, because everyone's been affected by this," Gotham said.

Funeral services for San Luis Obispo Police Det. Luca Benedetti will be held next week, and community members are invited to attend.

City officials say the public service for Benedetti will begin at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly on Thursday, May 20, at 10 a.m. It will be followed by a first responder procession to a private graveside service.

The GoFundMe page set up for his family and for his memorial by the San Luis Obispo Police Officer Association and the SLO County Regional SWAT Team, has raised nearly $500,000 as of Saturday afternoon.