Kelly Waggonner is not a woman you’d anticipate running into near the intersection of El Cajon Boulevard and 50th Street at 3 a.m.
A family law attorney and mother of two, Waggonner might more plausibly be — in these wee hours of a Friday morning — in her home several blocks away, fast asleep.
But a few times a month, Waggonner hits these infamous streets as part of a volunteer tour of duty observing and reporting suspicious activity in her neighborhood.
When she’s on duty, Waggonner slaps a magnetic “TALMADGE PATROL” sign on the side of her gold GMC Yukon that identifies her as part of the patrol. Inside, she totes a red police-style light on her dashboard, a megaphone on the floor of the passenger seat and pepper spray in her seat console. She wears jeans, sandals and a navy T-shirt with the word TALCOP emblazoned in yellow on the back — short for Talmadge Citizens On Patrol. She keeps her windows rolled down so she can hear the noise of the street.
“Patrol Two to Patrol One, I’m on the 4400 block of Euclid,” Waggonner barks into her walkie-talkie like a seasoned detective, touching base with a pair of fellow patrollers, Vic Whitaker and James Quistorf. Her handset crackles as they return her hello.
Talmadge is a residential enclave, a neighborhood of ornamental historic gates and lanterns, and a range of notable architecture. It was named for the Talmadge sisters, glamorous silent movie stars in the early 1900s.