NewsLocal News


Procession for fallen SLOPD detective draws community members to streets to show support

atascadero overpass.JPG
Posted at 6:05 PM, May 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-21 01:37:07-04

On Thursday, a procession for San Luis Obispo Police Detective Luca Benedetti attracted thousands of people to local overpasses and streets to pay 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.

A motorcade of hundreds of law enforcement from all over the state escorted the fallen officer from his memorial service at the Performing Arts Center at Cal Poly north along Highway 101 to the Paso Robles Cemetery. It was followed by a private funeral.

"It's heartbreaking but it was an impressive turnout. The procession was fabulous," said Doug Rion of San Luis Obispo.

Along the 30 mile route, community members came out to show support.

"I can't stop crying," said Becky Elliott of Atascadero. "Another police officer was killed."

"It's just tragic and that's why it hurts so much. It breaks my heart," added Craig Taylor of Paso Robles.

"I just feel it's important to show your respect for these men in blue and women in blue, and the job they do for us," said Keith Hayes of Paso Robles.

Community members lined up on overpasses holding signs and waving flags as the procession drove by below. Some people even decorated their vehicles and pets.

"It's very touching and you know, kind of almost makes you cry when you come in here and see the number of people lined up," said Patrick Frisco of Paso Robles.

"As a community, we're supposed to be here for them as they are there for us when we need help," said Tim Hannaford of Atascadero.

The community pointed to the bravery of Det. Benedetti and all law enforcement and first responders who put their lives on the line daily.

"These guys do a dangerous job, guys and gals every day, and we really thank them and appreciate them," said Debbie Belt of San Luis Obispo.

Once the motorcade arrived in Paso Robles, the private funeral got underway with friends, family, and his brothers and sisters in blue in attendance.

"I think they are modern-day heroes and just by listening to the eulogies driving over here, he wasn't just an officer, he encompassed a good man," Elliott said.

Many of the light poles and fences around Paso Robles have blue ribbons and bows in support of law enforcement. There's also a sign outside Flamson Middle School remembering Det. Benedetti.