May 10 marks one year since Detective Luca Benedetti’s death

SLO COUNTY — Two San Luis Obispo County peace officers were honored and remembered on Thursday, May 5, at the SLO County Peace Officers’ Memorial held at Pismo Beach Pier.

The annual event honors peace officers who died in the line of duty. This year’s event was especially personal to the county since it comes just days short of one year since the San Luis Obispo Police Department’s loss of Detective Luca Benedetti.

Benedetti (37) lost his life in the line of duty on May 10, 2021, in San Luis Obispo while serving a search warrant. Benedetti was laid to rest on May 20, 2021, at the Paso Robles District Cemetery, following a memorial and procession. 

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His memorial, held at the Cal Poly Performing Arts Center in SLO, was attended by thousands of community members and law enforcement officers. 

During the memorial service, SLOPD Sgt. Caleb Kemp said, “Detective Luca Benedetti died with a warrior’s heart, serving his community and doing what he loved. I want to thank the Benedetti family for sharing him with the rest of the world and thank Luca for sharing himself with all of us … We will heal; we will never forget, but we will heal. Luca’s sacrifice, legacy, will permanently be etched into the lives he touched, living his life to the fullest.”

Following the memorial, law enforcement led a procession from SLO to Benedetti’s resting place in Paso Robles. 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. 

Also remembered at the event was Sgt. Thomas Stanley of the Atascadero State Hospital Police Department. Stanley, 56, died from COVID-19-related complications on Dec. 31, 2021.

The ceremony included the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Honor Guard and 21-gun salute team, a CHP flyover, and an American flag displayed by the San Luis Obispo Fire Department ladder truck. The Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony is organized and coordinated by the Criminal Justice Administrators’ Association.

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Rick Scott released the following statement to Paso Robles Press/Atascadero News:

“Today we joined our community in honor of our fallen heroes who sacrificed their lives in service to our California Communities. Among them is Luca Benedetti of San Luis Obispo Police Department, lost in the line of duty on 5-10-2021. We will always remember and honor Detective Benedetti’s selfless service for our police family and a grateful community. We will never forget Luca and the inspiring legacy he leaves behind.”

For a list of all fallen officers honored, visit bit.ly/3KNp086