The Star-News

Going to Kenya one pancake at a time

Sat, May 18 2013 12:00 PM Posted By: Tom Basinski

Two weeks ago there was a letter to our editor from a woman in San Diego who castigated and vilified the Chula Vista Police Department. She also ripped corrections officers. There were no specific instances of misconduct cited, just inane ramblings.

She wrote that 80 percent of the state prisoners are in for drug related crimes. I think she used a method of statistical figuring employed by pulling figures out of thin air, or someplace farther south. That is, she made up her “statistics.” Please, ma’am, cite your sources.

The Public Policy Institute of California reports that 63 percent of California’s prison population is in for violent crimes. You can look it up. How can there be 80 percent in for drugs and 63 percent in for violence? Easy. Make up the stats.
The letter was entertaining to read.

That being said, I now focus on Lt. Roxana Kennedy, the highest ranking female of the Chula Vista Police Department. She is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy, class #243.

Kennedy, an almost 21-year veteran, has worked nearly every division within the department and, due to today’s tightened fiscal belts, holds several responsible command positions. As a district commander, Kennedy’s job is to identify and develop ways to deal with patterns of crimes or series of crimes within the city. She coordinates with all units and oversees the school resource officers, traffic, street team, the retired senior volunteer patrol, and Geographic police units.

Kennedy was the founder of the mobile field force 17 years ago, and has been the commander since 2001. This group has 30 members who respond to civil unrest, crowd control, fire evacuations, etc. Her team recently was featured in an official California police training video on crowd control.

Kennedy is also in charge of the crisis negotiation team. This group attempts to stabilize, isolate, and control high risk situations through negotiations. Their goal is the peaceful resolution to volatile situations.

Kennedy has a passion over and above police work. For the last few years, Kennedy and her 23-year old daughter, Taylor, have been involved with Project Compassion, a non-profit group that visits impoverished nations rendering medical, physical, and emotional aid to less fortunate residents, often about 99 percent of the population.

In the past, Roxana and Taylor have traveled to Uganda and Mozambique. In late July and August they are going to Malawi and Kenya.

Taylor and mom work in the triage unit when they enter a village, assessing the medical needs of the natives. After checking over the unfortunates, they send them to the professional medical team of Project Compassion for treatment. They work with malaria, AIDS, skin infections, and bug infestations on a daily basis.

Their passion is helping children in need of medical aid. Kennedy said, “Even under the most difficult of conditions I found the African people possess such inner beauty and strength.”

Kennedy takes vacation time to do these good works. She and Taylor pay their own way, which comes to $5,000 per person.

Kennedy would rather face an armed person than ask for donations. Nonetheless, they are holding a fundraiser breakfast at Applebee’s in Plaza Bonita Sunday May 19 from 8-10 a.m.

The breakfast includes eggs, pancakes, sausage, and drink for $10

Other tax deductible donations of any size are welcome to be sent to: Project Compassion, 11315 Rancho Bernardo Road #145, San Diego, CA 92127. Put “Rox and Taylor” on the Memo section of the check.

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