SANTA CRUZ -- Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and California Attorney General Kamala Harris are among those expected to speak to more than 12,000 people at Thursday's memorial in San Jose for Santa Cruz police detective Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler.

While organizers made last-minute arrangements for the memorial at HP Pavilion in San Jose on Wednesday, prayers for the fallen officers were said in Washington on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Rep. Sam Farr, D-Carmel, led a moment of silence.

"This is a horrible tragedy, and I join with the residents of the Central Coast to mourn this loss and to pay our respects to these two fallen heroes," Farr said at the dais. "Through their willingness to serve, our brave police men and women represent the best of our country."

At Thursday's event in San Jose, more than 6,000 law enforcement officers and another 6,000 family, friends and mourners are expected to attend.

During the final walk-through Wednesday, Santa Cruz Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark said he watched in four hours as the HP Pavilion staff transformed the arena from a sheet of ice into a suitable setting for the memorial.

"It was an amazing transformation," Clark said. "They (HP Pavilion staff) have been so gracious to us."

The Rev. Rene Schlaepfer of Twin Lakes Church in Aptos, is expected to lead the service.

Speakers are expected to range from members of the detectives' families to Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel, Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante and Clark.


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"American Idol" star and Santa Cruz native James Durbin will sing at the event, which starts at noon. The service features drummers, a bagpipe ensemble and a helicopter flyover.

Gov. Jerry Brown will attend but will not speak, Clark said.

Clark said Santa Cruz police officers Laurel Schonfield and Wendy Bynes are expected to speak along with Jeff Rosell, deputy district attorney.

Some members of the officers' extended families arrived in Santa Cruz on Wednesday for the memorial.

Scotts Valley-based Fallen Officer Foundation paid for flights for several members of Baker's family, who came from Canada, said foundation representative Donna Lind.

It also took care of 14 hotel rooms for Butler's family and 12 rooms for Baker's family.

The nonprofit group, formed in 2004, has helped more than 30 first responders in Santa Cruz County, "although nothing as tragic and complex as this," Lind said.

Its members also have delivered two to three meals daily to the officers' family and trays of food to Santa Cruz police and deputies at Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office substations.

Escalante knew Baker personally and professionally for nearly 30 years. He said police officers' memorials can be overwhelming emotionally and he expected Thursday's event to be no different.

"We have to rely on each other and support each other in these times," Escalante said.

Follow Sentinel reporter Stephen Baxter on Twitter at Twitter.com/sbaxter_sc

  • Bay Federal Credit Union is accepting donations for the families of Santa Cruz police detective Sgt. Loran 'Butch' Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler.
    Checks should be made payable to the Santa Cruz Police Officers Association and mailed to 3333 Clares St., Capitola, CA 95010. Donations also can be made at any Bay Federal branch.

  • The Police Officers Association and Police Department have set up a 'Baker/Butler Scholarship Fund' with Wells Fargo. Donations are accepted at any Wells Fargo branch nationwide to account No. 999 245 1154.

  • The city of Santa Cruz is accepting credit card donations to the Baker and Butler families on the city's website at www.cityofsantacruz.com. Checks to the attention of the Baker/Butler Scholarship Fund also can be mailed to 809 Center St., Room 101, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Credit card donations also will be taken during normal business hours at 831-420-5070. Several Santa Cruz businesses contributed $125,000 to the fund on Friday as a joint donation.
    Police say 100 percent of donations through the city website will go to support the families. Money from all the funds is expected to be handled by the Santa Cruz Police Officers Association for distribution to the Baker and Butler families.

  • Louden Nelson Community Center, 301 Center St., Santa Cruz. Open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • Santa Cruz Public Library Central Branch, 224 Church St., Santa Cruz. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Santa Cruz Public Library Branciforte Branch, 230 Gault St., Santa Cruz. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Santa Cruz Public Library Scotts Valley Branch, 251 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley. Open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • City of Santa Cruz offices will be closed. Previously scheduled rental inspections will still occur.

  • Santa Cruz Public Library branches will be open 3-7 p.m.

  • All Santa Cruz firefighters are expected to participate in the procession. Their duties will be taken on by Scotts Valley, Aptos/La Selva and Central firefighters.

  • Santa Cruz County Superior Court in Santa Cruz and Watsonville will have shortened hours on Thursday so deputies normally assigned to court security can work at the procession and memorial. The court at 701 Ocean St. in Santa Cruz will be open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 a.m. The court at 1 Second St. in Watsonville will open at 8 a.m. and close at 9:30 a.m. Drop boxes will be available for documents will be available at both locations and clerks' offices will keep normal hours.