Posted by Frank Wooldridge
One thing I really enjoy so much about being a Breakfast Rotarian is the fellowship we have for one another. As some choose to shelter-in-place and participate through Zoom, many are actively participating in attending meetings at The Broken Yolk. Rotarian Kathy Berry and her restaurant staff are doing a stellar job at making us feel right at home at The Yolk. We thank her for tolerating the sometimes over-exuberance of our taste-buds’ joy after biting into those fabulous hash brown potatoes or fluffy pancakes over a cup of delicious hot coffee.  Secondly, our meeting enthusiasm leaves nothing to be desired as our meetings are spirited and uplifting. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, whether it be by Zoom or by choosing to attend in person, there is no better way to begin a morning than with other Rotarians. If you have not been visiting as a member lately, start your Wednesday mornings out right Breakfast Rotarians and attend a meeting soon…it makes a BIG difference in your day!
 
Past President Denise Haynes lead us in our morning Invocation as Sergeant-of-Arms Temo Lopez lead us in America’s Flag Salute. Denise boomeranged back for our morning song. A most fitting song for a perfect day was selected by Denise. “If You’re Happy and You Know It” was the song of the day…you know the song. It is one where you stomp your feet, raise your hands and stuff. Thanks, Denise, for leading us in song and burning some calories at the same time. Again, no visiting Rotarians…hey they may not be meeting at their regular spot, so invite a Rotarian to join us!
 
Sandra Parnell will do anything to get out of paying fine, so what does she do? She brought husband John as it is their wedding anniversary! Congratulations on your first-year anniversary.
 
We did have one Zoom guest.  Veronica Smiddle with Special Olympics of Kern County found BBRC on the web. She was especially interested in hearing Chief Terry’s talk. Welcome Veronica and hope to meet you in person at a meeting soon.
 
Our birthday Rotarians were Bill Black and Past President Mike O’Doherty. Happy Birthday boys! 
**Featured Program**
 
It’s good to see our duty committee put Shaun Kelly right to work after a brief absence. He served as our morning greeter, and if I am not mistaken, he appeared to be having a good time serving in that capacity. Honestly, we needed a rugged guy like Shaun guarding the door because Program Chair Peter “Gunn” Leveroni was busy introducing our esteemed Bakersfield City Chief of Police Greg Terry. Pete told us that our Chief is a son Born on the Bayou hailing from Lafayette, Louisiana. Like Kern County, Lafayette is an oil town. This coincidence placed Chief Terry’s future, raised in Bakersfield wife in Lafayette where her family was employed in the oil industry. This little union developed into marriage and Terry, the son of a Baptist minister, employment with the Lafayette Police Department.
 
After seven years with the Lafayette Police Department, Terry’s wife had a longing for home in Bakersfield. Call it fate, or call it obedience to his wife, Terry found himself applying to become a police officer in Bakersfield. Despite losing all seniority and starting all over again, Terry was willing to take that chance. That chance was Bakersfield’s gain because he became a wonderful patrol officer. Through the years Terry rose through the ranks to become our Chief. Why do I know so much? Because in 1997 yours truly was assigned to the BPD Training Division and I was responsible for conducting background investigations on new hires. Let’s chalk it up to say that he looked like a good prospect then, and hiring him paid off well wouldn’t ya say…   
 
Chief Terry tells us that he Loves the Bakersfield Police Department, and personally I am glad he does. He is tasked like no other time with challenges that even the likes of any previous Chief of Police could ever comprehend. He stated a key element to his policing strategy is Community Policing with its component of problem solving. Now this is certainly not anything new, but its definition is currently being redefined by societal demands. With a heavy emphasis on neighborhood input, community policing requires all staff to engage and interact with neighborhoods to learn what specific problems tend to jeopardize their safety and security. This requires listening, and that is something the Sgt. Joe Friday cops of the Dragnet days were not really good at. Therefore, Chief Terry and the police department are now learning to listen.
 
Chief Terry identifies three important elements of modern police problem solving. #1 – Traditional policing approaches DO NOT work, #2 It takes community engagement to solve problems, and #3 There must be a “transforming” of police personnel which means actually getting out of the patrol cars to speak with community neighbors. Again, this is something that is easier said than done because institutionally police were not trained to provide services in that manner.
 
Grocery prices are up, and so is crime in Bakersfield, particularly violent crime this year according to Chief Terry. This is not good news, but comes as no surprise. In the past 20 years the crime rate in a number of categories had stabilized, but dynamics have now changed. Chief Terry did not identify just one cause for the increase, and that is frightening because with all of the societal studies that have been completed as to what most influences crime rates, there are just too many causes to discuss in the short time we had the Chief. I bet one thing for sure, there are a couple Past Presidents and Breakfast Rotarians that would be willing to partake in a ride-a-long program to take their own “Bite Out of Crime”.
 
Chief Terry told us that help is on the way with recent and pending police officer academy graduations. He said a new police officer job announcement is also forthcoming. It plans to add an additional 100 officers within this fiscal year. Take it from me this is a huge endeavor and is only beneficial when there is not a reduction of employees leaving through attrition, so that increased numbers of police personnel can be seen in our neighborhoods.
 
COVID-19 has also changed the way police respond to crimes and even meeting members of the public. It was interesting to hear Chief Terry tell us of officers maintaining “social distancing” when meeting citizens who report crime. I can’t imagine how taking a person into custody for a violation of the law with social distancing works… Chief Terry told us that many services have been re-defined, which will decrease chances for his officers and the public to contact COVID-19. One such service is on-line report taking for various crimes that do not require immediate response. The Chief even told us there is a designated police COVID Team that follow some routine police operations to encourage standards of having a mindfulness of minimizing COVID exposures. With all officers wearing body cameras these days in Bakersfield, it makes the work of, The COVID Team even more applicable because they can review video to assess hazardous conditions that officers may have been exposed to. The cameras also have been beneficial in reducing citizens complaints since they help substantiate enforcement actions taken by the officer by reducing false allegations. The cameras are to be activated during citizen contacts.  
 
Given civil protests in various cities across the U.S., a consortium of community representatives, City Councilman Andre Gonzales and CSUB Kegley Institute colleagues have assembled to share their recommendations to the Bakersfield Police Department for an examination of police services and community relations. Chief Terry who is a willing participant in receiving input from the consortium is expecting to hear evidenced based feedback based upon research they have collected. We will be hoping to hear more from this effort in the months to come. The Chief encourages those with interest to attend meetings hosted by this consortium throughout the community.
 
We want to thank Chief Terry for his leadership, but before we had a chance to tell him, he was last seen running across the parking lot from the podium to his car to attend his next meeting. He is so darn busy, he didn’t even have time to stick around to hear us express our gratitude for his department’s service. The Chief no doubt has a lot on his plate; I would not trade places with him, no not for one minute.
 
**Announcements Announcements**
 
President Dave brought to our attention just a little bit more our club can be proud of. It seems that during Past President Cheryl “Jessie“Scott’s regime we received District 5240 two distinguishing club awards. One is the Outstanding Public Image Award and the other is the Outstanding COVID Humanitarian Response Award. Our generous contribution to the Kern County Gleaners earlier this year helped us receive this recognition.
 
The Prez highlighted member Dave Perkins who publishes a neighborhood magazine aptly entitled Seven Oaks Living. The magazine featured a story by member John Guerard about the service our Rotary club performs locally. The Prez recognized John for writing the article and having the state of mind to include a plug to readers of the article to contact him if interested in attending an upcoming meeting as his guest. Here is a link to the article that is posted on our Facebook page: Click here
 
Before we got to our Happy Spots, The Prez attempted to ensnare another Breakfast Rotarian in paying a fine for not knowing the week’s clue from The Beacon. The Prez should have known better than to pick a physician, particularly one that is a new member like Dr. Bani Singh. When asked, Dr. Bani stood without hesitation and fired off an answer quicker than Chief Terry’s .40 caliber pistol that this week’s clue was emphasizing members to sell Wine Place and Show Tickets! Good Job BBRC red badge-r! 
 
Wine, Place and Show members is upcoming September 19th. Sell Sell Sell those tickets!
 
**Happy Spots**
 
Now I know why Denise Haynes picked the song that she did this morning. This little hiking woman is just happy jazzed about her son FINALLY moving out of her home. When asked how she feels about that, she replied “Now I can wear whatever I want, or don’t want around my house”. That little piece of TMI will cost you $50 bucks.
 
Will Duerksen is coming off a 2-week vacation where he got his daughter off his payroll and out of college. Another $50 fine!
 
Mindy Wilmot is $21 happy after 21 years of marriage. Geez Mindy did ya get married as a teenager?
Past President Neil Walker who was definitely not a teenager when he got married, (but most probably married a teenager), is celebrating 41 years of marriage and paying a $41 dollar fine!
 
Mike O’Doherty asks for our prayers as his son and wife are expecting. Big Mike asks for the health of family and child in the weeks to come. You got it Mike!
 
You know it has become a weekly contest between gals Sandra Parnell and Marilee Reagor for the “Mask of the Week”. This week the winner was determined by whose had the mask with the most “bling”. This week’s winner of a fine bottle of Conundrum was Marilee. If this keeps up the rest of us may give up wearing masks that compete in the contest.
 
Next Week We are DARK. See you back at The Yolk on 8/26/20. Next meeting’s clue is naming the price of individual tickets for Wine, Place, and Show. Answer is $100.
 
Peace through Rotary Service,
 
By: Frank Wooldridge