PD ‘goes pink’ for Kylea

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

PD ‘goes  pink’ for KyleaSgt. Nathan Lloyd (left) and Chief Jed McLaughlin, pictured with Kylea Chance. — Courtesy photo

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The Ridgecrest Police Department is “going pink” this month for cancer awareness, but their tie is a little more personal, and closer to home, than the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign.

“Basically, Kylea is going to be the face of our department for the month of October,” said RPD Chief Jed McLaughlin.

He is referring to 5-year-old Kylea Chance, who has been battling leukemia for more than a year. Every 10 days her family travels to and from Los Angeles for treatment, which has caused them a significant financial burden.

“We actually heard about her story on Facebook,” said McLaughlin.

“Kylea is a brave young lady with more strength and courage than most of us endure in any given day,” said a post on RPD’s Facebook page.

“Some of us had the pleasure of meeting her when she was visiting our department. She still manages to keep a beautiful smile on her face.”

To help raise money and awareness for Kylea’s family, the RPD will be wearing temporary patches — in pink. They had another 400 patches printed, which can be purchased for $20 each to help the cause.

McLaughlin said he concept for the fundraiser grew out of a previous inquiry by Mayor Peggy Breeden, who asked if the PD could purchase patches with flags on them. McLaughlin told Breeden that there was no way to fund the new patches, and she in turn offered to donate the money required.

Sgt. Armogida, who was familiar with Kylea’s story, suggested that if they were going to pay for new patches, they could go pink instead.

“We understand various cancers have different colors,” said an RPD spokesperson.

Changing uniforms each month would be cost prohibitive. So they decided that going pink in October would honor one of the most highly recognized cancer awareness months, “and pink also happens to by Kylea’s favorite color.”

McLaughlin said that the public response has been incredible. “We have sold a ton of patches already,” he said.

“Our community is awesome. We have seen so much support for the Chance family. And I know this is just one family, one person, we are trying to help, but I have seen time after time int his community that once they know about a need, they step up and do whatever they can to help.”

Patches can be purchased (cash only) at RPD between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. For more information contact rmarrone@ridgecrest-ca.gov.

McLaughlin thanked not only Breeden, but also the Evan Etoch Memorial Foundation and Toyota of Ridgecrest for donating the money to purchase the patches.

Story First Published: 2018-10-05