Watsonville PD Chief Solano on SCPD Shooting: 'We're All One'

Manny Solano said his department will keep supporting Santa Cruz in any way possible following the tragic deaths of two officers.

Police departments, especially in small communities and small counties, are like families. The officers work as a unit and departments protect in tandem with one another.

Sure, there are friendly rivalries between sheriff's offices, California Highway Patrol and police departments. But ultimately, everyone on the force is working toward the same goals together.

So when the two Santa Cruz Police officers were killed on Tuesday, it hit the Watsonville Police Department hard.

Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano was out of town at a training with Capitola Police Chief Rudy Escalante—a former Santa Cruz Police officer—when he heard the news. A friend of his, a private pilot, flew to pick up both chiefs and had them on the scene quickly.

"We knew we had to get back," Solano said. "All we had on our minds was to get there and be there for Santa Cruz."

In catastrophic situations like Tuesday's shooting, Solano said the protocol is checking in with family and then getting to work.

"You kiss your wife and then you go help in any way you can," he said.

While Santa Cruz Police are set to go back to work Friday after a two-day break, Solano said that Watsonville PD is prepared to chip in for as long as necessary.

"A lot of us have close friendships with the officers who died," he said. "We're partners. We're all one. Right now our job is to come alongside them and be there for them."

Although everyone in law enforcement knows the dangers of the job, outcomes like those of the Tuesday shooting can still rock a police department.

"We're trying to keep our head in the game," Solano said. "We're human. It's going to be on our minds. The challenge will be staying focused on the issue at hand. We know what we're taking on when we put on this badge."

David H. Perez March 01, 2013 at 02:29 AM
I sure would like to see all of the good people in the Watsonville community work together in tandem, like the law enforcement agencies, to do something about all of this gang violence. If we let gangs make us live in fear, they win!
randy March 01, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Yes, David.. you are 100% correct. So proud of the law enforcement in Santa Cruz County and the surrounding counties for all the cooperation and help they gave. So proud of Rudy, Manny and Kevin for the work they are doing. AND then there was another murder in Watsonville today. Poor Manny will have his hands full again.
White in Watson March 01, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Thanks for making us proud Chief Solano!
Jamie March 01, 2013 at 05:27 AM
We are so proud of the WPD and the job that they do everyday. Going to work not just a job but going to make a diffrence in their community. They put their lives in danger everyday! Not knowing what and whom they come across. They have family that they love and who love them deeply. But continue on to make you and yours safe to walk, live, each and everyday. I'm thankful and pray every day for there safety, and for the sacrafice they make daily. Thank you and God be with you!
Linda March 01, 2013 at 06:46 AM
Ok.lets just set back in our comfortable chairs, listen to the news and hold the PD responsible for Watsonville, Captola , or Santa cruz for our troubles!! Why don't you!! yes," You "do something about the gangs the division the criime against you and your neighbors do something today about it. Ok.Maybe you want to set back in your comfortable chair in your nice home and talk about what is going down but you!! I'am talking about you, can make a diffrence in your life and the lives of many it starts at home and grows like a pebble in a pond a kind word to child next door to you. A smile and a hello the the child off the bus. You, we all make a diffrence. Big or small. In a pond a small ripple makes a big ripple one never knows how it hits the shore. We need to try with the small and hope for the big impact in our lives and the lives of many.
Susan O'Day March 01, 2013 at 05:10 PM
I just don't get it. When these two officers went to this nuts house during an investigation...why did they let him go back into his house? I don't have a cops mentality obviously but I would have thought maybe, just maybe this guy could come out with a gun and I think I would have had my guns drawn at that time!!!
Jay Homan March 01, 2013 at 05:59 PM
Susan you have been misinformed. The suspect, Goulet, never came out from behind his CLOSED FRONT DOOR onto the front porch during the Detectives initial verbal contact with him talking THROUGH the front door. The suspect was able to exit the residence elsewhere and "blindside" the Detectives by coming around and up behind them and shooting them in an ambush. The incident unfolded so rapidly that niether officer had the opportunity to draw weapons to defend themselves. UNDERSTAND NOW?
Susan O'Day March 01, 2013 at 09:25 PM
Jay, Yes, I understand now that you have explained and I thank you for that. I did not have the correct information. Susan


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