Mother and daughter deputies, Angelica Torres and Kendra Snowden team up to give away masks, food to residents struggling through the pandemic
TULARE COUNTY – A mother and daughter deputy duo in Tulare County Sheriff’s Department are not only tackling the challenges they face in their youth development unit, but are also giving back to the community. But that has always been a part of their lives.
Kendra Snowden, 26, grew up watching her mother Angelica Torres, 46, make sacrafices and put in long nights for her law enforcement career. On Aug. 6, 2018 she started a career of her own. And for the first time both Snowden and her mom were in uniform together. For Torres, it was a proud mother’s dream come true. For Snowden, it was the day she joined her mother as a deputy of Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
“Seeing her in that uniform and putting that pin on my shirt, I was like ‘wow, now I can make that sacrifice with her,’” Snowden said. “I can be there not only like a daughter who loves her but as a peer who can now support her.”
Torres and Snowden work in the youth development unit. Serving and giving back to the community has always been a part of their lives, and Snowden says putting on the uniform is no different.
“I have a servant’s heart because my mom has a servant’s heart. You learn from your environment. I’ve always seen her give back; if someone needs help, she’s helping them whether it’s family, a friend or a stranger,” Snowden said. “Being a part of this unit is perfect, it is completely lined up with our character, who we are and what we stand for.”
The two most recently helped distribute hundreds of boxes of food and masks on Oct. 27 at the TCSO Community Food and Mask Giveaway in Ivanhoe.
“It’s a joy,” Snowden said. “And what I’ve always loved to do is say, ‘I know you don’t have this right now, but here, let me give you something so that you can get through it. And don’t worry, if you need some more, we’re going to have another giveaway.’”
Sometimes it’s the little things that bring Snowden joy.
“If I can give [the kids] a sticker that will light your world up, by all means, I’m going to give you that sticker,” Snowden said. “They’re asking for chocolate milk, and now we put chocolate milk in their boxes.”
The Sheriff’s office usually has giveaways twice a week throughout Tulare County. For Torres, the giveaways bring life full circle.
“I’ve been there where my family didn’t have enough food. Back in the day we used to not have milk, but it used to be a powder, and you would have to mix it with water,” Torres said. “So, when these opportunities come, it’s good to give back. Those are the reasons I do it, because I know those feelings.”
For all the joy it brings her to give back, Snowden said she’s seen the toll the pandemic has taken on the faces of residents, even through the mask.
“You see the effects of people feeling embarrassed that they don’t have enough food,” Snowden said. “And all you want to do is hug them, and you can’t hug them because of COVID. It’s not just affecting them, it’s affecting all of us.”
Through TSCO’s Police Activities League, Snowden volunteers her time coaching the Six Point Stars girls travel basketball team—which holds tryouts for all of Tulare County—with Torres alongside as assistant coach. The pandemic has brought their hoops team to a halt, but Snowden said she understands the importance of safety and protocol.
“I constantly had my girls messaging me, ‘coach, when are we going to have practice? Coach, I’m getting out of shape.’ I have parents messaging me, ‘Coach, when can the kids come out? They are tired of being in the house.’ They’re literally begging to just be outside to have some type of interaction and have a ball in their hand,” Snowden said.
As hard as it is for Snowden to feel like she’s taking something away from the kids, she said she knows the program will be back, and they are working on fundraising for the girls to travel to games out of state.
“I miss them every day,” Snowden said. “Every time they text me, I’m just like, ‘I know, keep doing home workouts, make sure you’re running.’”
The two said even through the ups and downs of service in law enforcement, they knew how to have fun from the start.
“I said, ‘after I pin you, let’s just do the dab,’” Torres said, recalling the pinning ceremony on Aug. 6 two years ago, “do something fun afterwards. That’s the type of relationship we have.”
“Sure enough, it happened,” Snowden said, laughing, “she pinned me and we hit the dab together.”