By Reiko Crenshaw
Kitt Edwin Crenshaw, was born on November 9, 1956, to my parents, Annie Lee Brockett Crenshaw and Kitt Crenshaw in San Francisco, California. I was the fifth and last child born to my parents who loved me so very much. Oh, there was my sister Delphenia; my brother Charlie; my sister, Maxine; and my brother, Thomas. Being the last born, I felt I was special to everyone in the house, especially Maxine. She must have thought I was a doll because everywhere she went, she carried me with her. My mom, dad, and Charlie preceded me in death.
I lived with my parents on Ingerson Avenue in San Francisco until it was decided that I should live with my sister, Maxine and her husband, Joe. I attended middle and high school in Daly City, graduating from Jefferson High. On the weekends, I would high-tail it back to Ingerson Avenue to spend time with my parents and play baseball with the Bayview Gilman Giants, coached by Mr. Moore, who created the team to keep us from getting into mischief.
I accepted Christ as my personal savior at an early age and was baptized at the Evergreen Baptist Church where Ruth Johnson was the Pastor, I met Reiko Merritt in 1986; we fell in love and got married in 1987. Reiko’s steadfast love provided me the will and inspiration to pursue and achieve my goals. Because of my love and respect for the law, and a suggestion from my cousin Howard Jackson, in 1976, I took and passed the examination to become a San Francisco Police Officer. But, there was one problem. I was only 20 years old. Therefore, I was too young to become a police officer. I was offered a position in communications and in 1977, I became a police cadet.
During my career with the SF Police Department, I served in several capacities from Police Officer to Sergeant, Lieutenant, and finally Commander. I worked in Patrol, Narcotics, Housing Task Force, Special Investigations Detail, Traffic Company (Once a Solo, Always a Solo”), and the Field Operations Bureau. Above all, I took pride in being a cop’s cop, dedicated to community policing, keeping our neighborhoods safe and mentoring others. During my detail with the Housing Task Force, under the leadership of then Commander Richard Holder, a partnership with the community and SFPD was developed. Through this partnership, the SF chapter of the Midnight Basketball League was created to give young men ages 13-25 alternatives to the streets.
Operation Dream was born out of a need to improve the quality of life for families in public housing by providing job fairs, hosting field trips, camping trips, Easter egg hunts and Christmas toy drives. In my quest to keep the streets safe, I was inspired to participate in the Gun Buy Back program. Providing private security for celebrities and dignitaries was a highlight. Rob and I even accompanied Prince on his 1993 European tour. In 2004, I attended the 216th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Later, I was promoted to Commander.
After 34 years with the SF Police Department, I retired on January 14, 2011. Shortly before retirement, Reiko and I purchased a home in Lake Las Vegas. This home became the meeting place for family and numerous friends. We enjoyed entertaining, watching the Giants, 49ers, Warriors, golf tournaments and our favorite shows/movies. If you really knew me, you’d know that I was a fan of The Young and Restless for 40 years. At times, you could find me in my office jammin” to Prince, Gino Vanelli, Sade, The Dramatics, Mick and the Boys. Let’s not forget Mint Condition. With family and friends, we travelled the world, Maui being our favorite spot to relax. Golf was my favorite past time. I was a member of two golf clubs, the Loons Nest (SFPD) and I The Cup (Las Vegas).
As I bid farewell to my lovely wife, Reiko; our children, Kitt Jr., Kristin and Kiara Crenshaw; our granddaughters, Malia Jade-Elizabeth Crenshaw and Kalei Amara Martinez; my sister and brother- in-law, Maxine and Joe;
my brother and sister-in- law, Tom and Melanie; my sister-in-law, Leslie Merritt; my brother-in-law Gary Merritt; too many friends to name individually, but you know who you are; nieces, nephews, cousins, the San Francisco Police Department, and the two golf clubs of which O was a member, I ask that you “stop your sniveling” and remember me fondly.