BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Friends of fallen Deputy Phillip Campas — many of them, like Campas, former Marines — choked back tears as they shared stories humorous and heartfelt to the hundreds who attended his memorial service Friday at Mechanics Bank Arena.
“This man did more in 35 years than most of us will do in a lifetime, and he did everything exceptionally well,” said Sheriff Donny Youngblood. “He did it better than everyone else.”
Condolences have poured in statewide and beyond following Campas’ death July 25 during a SWAT standoff.
Seth Caridi, who became fast friends with Campas after meeting him at Camp Pendleton in 2009, said his friend was a leader and the best Marine he served with.
“Phil sacrificed his life doing what he always does: Leading by the front,” Caridi said.
People gravitated toward Campas, Caridi said. He excelled at everything he tried.
When he was promoted to sergeant, Caridi’s staff sergeant asked if there was anyone he wanted to promote. The answer was easy: Campas.
The two were deployed to Japan in 2010. As an active platoon sergeant, Caridi said he leaned on Campas for advice.
“Trouble with a Marine? Phil would have the remedy,” Caridi said. “Question about proper ceremonial formations? Phil would have the answer.”
The two men who made the greatest impact on his life are his father and Campas, Caridi said.
Doors to the Mechanics Bank Arena opened at 9:30 a.m. The service lasted until a little after 12:30 p.m. The service was open to the public and county officials say capacity inside the arena was limited at around 5,000.
17 News coverage of the memorial service began at 10:30 a.m. on the CW channel 12 on Spectrum, DirecTV channel 14, AT&T channel 16 and Dish Network channel 7304.
The memorial service was also streamed on this page and KGET’s Facebook page.
Truxtun Avenue between Q and L Streets will be closed starting at 7 a.m.
Kern County’s administrative building on Truxtun Avenue will be closed on Friday.
Attendees can park in the lot south of Mechanics Bank Arena and can be accessed via California Avenue to N Street heading northbound to the lot. The lot is located at the northeast corner of 14th and N streets.
A procession took place following the memorial service to escort Deputy Campas to the Bakersfield National Cemetery.
The procession was for law enforcement vehicles only and went east from Mechanics Bank Arena on Truxtun Avenue, south onto Union Avenue, merge onto eastbound Highway 58 then exit onto Highway 223 toward Arvin.
As the procession makes its way to the Bakersfield National Cemetery, side streets will be temporarily be closed. Motorists are asked to avoid the procession route following the service at Mechanics Bank Arena.
The service at the cemetery is for family only, officials said.
Map of procession route:
(Courtesy: Kern County Sheriff’s Office)
The Sheriff’s Office is asking attendees to follow current state guidelines for masks indoors. If you are not vaccinated against COVID-19, you are required to wear a mask in the arena. Vaccinated attendees are not required to wear a mask.
The Sheriff’s Office will rely on individuals to self-attest they are in compliance with vaccine requirements prior to entry.
The Kern County Superior Court is changing its schedule Friday due to the memorial:
CC, PPH, and RH calendars will start at 8 a.m.
Preliminary Hearings will start at 8:30 a.m. in Department 13
Felony Arraignments will be heard at 10 a.m. in Department 15
Misdemeanor Pretrial calendars will start at 8:30 a.m. and will be heard at 1415 as follows: D2 (IP), D3 (OP), D4 (EP) and D16 (FP)
Misdemeanor IC calendar will be heard at 10 a.m.
Department 12 will move calendars to Division 2 at the Metro Traffic Division on Arrow Street