Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office mourns the loss of a fallen friend and officer 1 year later

This Sunday, June 6, will be one year, since Santa Cruz County Sheriff Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was killed in the line of duty.It happened in Ben Lomond while investigating a report of a suspicious van loaded with guns and explosives.”We had him working overtime that day. He should have been home, off duty. And so, I’ve always thought about that…” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart. Every morning, Hart puts on a bracelet honoring Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.”This isn’t something I’ll ever get over, but I’m just trying to work my way through it and help all of my staff members work through it as well,” said Hart. The Sheriff’s Office will observe a moment of silence on Sunday at 2:26 p.m., the exact time the officer down call went out.”We’re asking that the public allows us to do this just as an office. Next year, obviously, if we’re through this pandemic, we’ll invite anybody who wants to attend that, but this year, we’re just asking for it to be a sheriff’s personnel only,” said Sheriff Hart.The San Lorenzo Valley offered support to the Gutzwiller family by collecting money for his two children.”We raised $20,000, which surprised us but it really shouldn’t have surprised us because that’s the type of community we have,” said Les Gardner of Felton.Friday morning, six motorcycle riders pulled up to the sheriff’s office.They’re part of Beyond the Call of Duty, a group that travels once a year across the country on an End of Watch Ride to honor fallen officers.These are the 338 faces of the men and women who in 2020 lost their lives in the line of duty. Damon Gutzwiller is among them.”It’s a lot of emotion. I could tell right off the bat. There was a lot of emotion and I hope, I did what I did,” said Beyond the Call of Duty Chairman, Jagrut Shah.Since 1925, four Santa Cruz County deputies have made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty.On Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office will unveil a plaque with all of their names on it: Undersheriff Richard Rountree, Sheriff Howard Trafton, Deputy Michael Grey, Deputy Michael Grey and Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.

This Sunday, June 6, will be one year, since Santa Cruz County Sheriff Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller was killed in the line of duty.

It happened in Ben Lomond while investigating a report of a suspicious van loaded with guns and explosives.

Advertisement

“We had him working overtime that day. He should have been home, off duty. And so, I’ve always thought about that…” said Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart.

Every morning, Hart puts on a bracelet honoring Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.

“This isn’t something I’ll ever get over, but I’m just trying to work my way through it and help all of my staff members work through it as well,” said Hart.

The Sheriff’s Office will observe a moment of silence on Sunday at 2:26 p.m., the exact time the officer down call went out.

“We’re asking that the public allows us to do this just as an office. Next year, obviously, if we’re through this pandemic, we’ll invite anybody who wants to attend that, but this year, we’re just asking for it to be a sheriff’s personnel only,” said Sheriff Hart.

The San Lorenzo Valley offered support to the Gutzwiller family by collecting money for his two children.

“We raised $20,000, which surprised us but it really shouldn’t have surprised us because that’s the type of community we have,” said Les Gardner of Felton.

Friday morning, six motorcycle riders pulled up to the sheriff’s office.

They’re part of Beyond the Call of Duty, a group that travels once a year across the country on an End of Watch Ride to honor fallen officers.

These are the 338 faces of the men and women who in 2020 lost their lives in the line of duty. Damon Gutzwiller is among them.

“It’s a lot of emotion. I could tell right off the bat. There was a lot of emotion and I hope, I did what I did,” said Beyond the Call of Duty Chairman, Jagrut Shah.

Since 1925, four Santa Cruz County deputies have made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty.

On Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office will unveil a plaque with all of their names on it: Undersheriff Richard Rountree, Sheriff Howard Trafton, Deputy Michael Grey, Deputy Michael Grey and Sergeant Damon Gutzwiller.

Contributed by local news sources

Next Post

Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office mourns the loss of fallen friend and officer 1 year later

On Sunday, June 6, it will be one year since Santa Cruz County Sheriff Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller was killed in the line of duty.It happened in Ben Lomond while he was investigating a report of a suspicious van loaded with guns and explosives.”We had him working overtime that day. He […]