On Monday, the Anaheim Police Department said goodbye to a member of their family.
Sgt. Todd Kridle passed away Aug. 11 after battling stomach cancer for nearly a year. I’ve written before about the health struggles of police officers and “What Really Kills Cops.” Today another name was added to a list that is way too long.
Sgt. Todd Kridle was one of those police officers every department wants on their team. He grew up in Anaheim and attended Anaheim schools. He was a local high school athlete competing in cross-country, track and wrestling. He later attended Cal State Long Beach, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and later a master’s degree in public policy.
It was while attending college that Todd decided to become a police cadet for the City of Anaheim. He later moved to the dispatch center before being sworn in as a police officer in 1990.
Todd worked a lot of assignments during his police career. These included SWAT, Intel, Internal Affairs, Detectives and Community Policing and most recently Family and Sex Crimes.
Todd was part of my team in Community Policing. I remember when he came on board; he was assigned to a largely Spanish-speaking neighborhood. The community had some concerns about an officer being assigned who spoke limited Spanish. He quickly endeared himself to the community. They could tell one thing right away: He cared for them. Whether it was dealing with drug dealers, gang members or substandard housing, he was there for them. His caring attitude broke down any language difficulties. They affectionately called him “El Güerito.”
Todd was not just fit — he was very fit. He was always one of those guys who excelled at every athletic endeavor he undertook. Whether it was running on the Baker to Vegas relay team, cycling or playing soccer on club teams, he was a gifted athlete.
Todd was a gazelle and I always had pity on the crooks that were foolish enough to try and run from him. I can’t recall a single person who tried to run from Todd ever getting away.
While Todd excelled at his police career, his most important job was being a husband and father. He met his wife, Anne, while attending college and they were married on May 27, 1995. Todd and Anne have four children: Aanneliese, 15, Jillian, 13, Teagan, 11, and Hudson, 8.
Todd was the epitome of the model father and husband. He coached each of his children’s soccer teams and despite being a busy police sergeant he made spending time with his family a priority.
There is strong bond in the policing profession. It is often described as a brotherhood. I prefer the term “the family of policing.” In many ways, the bonds are like that of a family. When the need is there, your family will always be there for you.
Todd’s Anaheim Police Department family was there for him and his family every step. Even in the last moments of his life members of his police family were there. When he left for the hospital in the middle of the night his police family was there to support him. When he finally passed his police family was there alongside his family sharing in their grief.
Todd was a special man. That was evident as the San Antonio de Padua del Canon Catholic Church was filled to capacity with family, friends and fellow officers. Todd’s cousin, Erik Kridle, described him as a “man who grew up where he was planted and bore much fruit.” Erik said Todd was a man who “God shined through.” I would have to wholeheartedly agree with that description.
Deputy Chief Julian Harvey recounted how kind and generous Todd was. In his recent assignment as the Family and Sex Crimes sergeant, Todd heard about a family that was having difficulty with transportation. Todd went out of his way to pick up the family in his own car so they could get to the Orange County Family Justice Center.
Todd was interned at the Cemetery of the Holy Sepulcher in Orange. His coworkers honored him as they stood at attention in dress uniform and a large American Flag flew in the background. A rifle team offered a 21-gun salute as their comrade was laid to rest.
The Anaheim Police Department Peer Support Team has arranged a charity benefit on Thursday, Aug. 27 at 5 p.m. to assist Todd’s family as they enter this next stage in their lives. There will be food, music and lots of sharing of memories.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here:
If you would like more information on stomach cancer please follow the link:
Joe is a retired Anaheim Police Department captain. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.