California Highway Patrol
|California Highway Patrol|
|Patch of the California Highway Patrol.|
|CHP Door Shield|
|Motto||Safety, Service, and Security|
|Formed||August 14, 1929|
|Employees||11,000+ (as of 2009)|
|Annual budget||$1.9 billion (as of 2007)|
|Legal personality||Governmental: Government agency|
|Operations jurisdiction*||State of California, USA|
|Map of California Highway Patrol's jurisdiction.|
|Size||163,696 square miles (423,970 km2)|
|Population||36,553,215 (2007 est.)|
|Legal jurisdiction||As per operations jurisdiction.|
|Governing body||California State Legislature|
|Constituting instrument||Senate Bill 869|
|Specialist jurisdiction||Highways, roads, and-or traffic.|
|Officers||7,500+ (as of 2009)|
|Civilians||3,500+ (as of 2009)|
|Commissioner responsible||Joe Farrow|
|Parent agency||California Business, Transportation and Housing Agency|
16 Inspection Facilities
102 Area Offices
|Patrol cars||Crown Victoria Police Interceptor|
|* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.|
The California State Legislature established the California Highway Patrol as a branch of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Public Works, with legislation signed by Governor C. C. Young on August 14, 1929. It was formed as a separate department in 1947 by Governor Earl Warren. The CHP gradually assumed increased responsibility beyond the enforcement of the State Vehicle Act and eventually merged with the California State Police in 1995.
In addition to its highway patrol duties, the CHP also provides other services including protecting state buildings and facilities (most notably the California State Capitol), and bodyguarding state officials. The CHP also works with municipal law enforcement agencies, providing assistance in investigations, patrol, and other aspects of law enforcement.
Highway patrol duties 
The agency has specific jurisdiction over all California state routes (including all freeways and expressways), U.S. Highways, Interstate Highways, and all public roads in unincorporated parts of a county. Local police or the local sheriff's department having a contract with an incorporated city are primarily responsible for investigating and enforcing traffic laws in incorporated cities, but the CHP can still enforce traffic laws on any public road anywhere in the state. While the agency's primary mission is related to transportation, it also possesses full law enforcement authority and can enforce any state law anywhere in the state. Furthermore, CHP officers act as bailiffs for the California Supreme Court and California Court of Appeal, as well as security at State of California buildings.
CHP officers enforce the California Vehicle Code, pursue fugitives spotted on the highways, and attend to all significant obstructions and accidents within their jurisdiction. They patrol in various vehicles including Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptors, Dodge Charger (LX)s, Chevrolet Camaros, BMW R1150RT‑P motorcycles, Cessna 206 airplanes, and helicopters which include Bell OH‑58As, Bell 206L‑IVs and Eurocopter AS‑350B‑3s. The CHP had a fleet of 60 2002 Chevrolet Camaros, which were used for commercial vehicle patrols.
CHP officers are responsible for investigating and disposing of car accidents, disabled vehicles, debris, and other impediments to the free flow of traffic. They are often the first responders at the scene of an accident (or obstruction), and in turn summon paramedics, firefighters, tow truck drivers or Caltrans personnel. The CHP files traffic collision reports for state highways and within unincorporated areas. The CHP responds to and investigates all accidents involving school buses throughout the state including incoporated cities.
Special responsibilities 
The CHP also publishes data on traffic accidents in California from a database called SWITRS (Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System).
After the September 11, 2001 attacks the CHP became responsible for securing and patrolling a number of potential terrorist targets in California. These sites include the Bay Bridge, nuclear power plants, government buildings, and key infrastructure sites. The CHP also maintains a SWAT team on 24 hour stand‑by to respond to any terrorist activity.
In September 2005, the CHP sent its two Mobile Field Forces (highly trained and equipped quick reaction/deployment teams for civil disturbances and/or disasters) to the Gulf Coast to assist in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Before the United States National Guard arrived, the CHP had four patrol helicopters over New Orleans, more than forty vehicles on the ground, and more than 200 officers and other staff, including a SWAT team, deployed in New Orleans.
The CHP also has officers assigned to drug task forces and other criminal investigative task forces throughout the state, and maintains highly trained Warrant Service Teams (WST) throughout each of its Divisions. These teams serve high-risk felony arrest and search warrants generated as a result of CHP investigations, and the WST assists local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies serve the same type of high-risk warrants.
One of the California Highway Patrol's additional responsibilities includes a governor protection detail.
The CHP is led by the Commissioner, who is appointed by the Governor of California. The Deputy Commissioner is also appointed by the Governor and the Assistant Commissioners are appointed by the Commissioner.
- R. C. Prieto
- Office of Internal Affairs
- Office of Employee Relations
- Office of the Special Representative
- Office of Media Relations
- Assistant Commissioner, Field Operations
- Northern Division
- Valley Division
- Golden Gate Division
- Central Division
- Southern Division
- Border Division
- Coastal Division
- Inland Division
- Protective Services Division
- Office of Air Operations
- State Security Division
- Assistant Commissioner, Staff Operations - W. A. Stanley
- Office of Employee Safety and Assistance
- Administrative Services Division
- Enforcement Services Division
- Planning & Analysis Division
- Information Management Division
Rank structure 
CHP uniforms are traditionally khaki-colored with campaign hat and blue-and-gold trouser stripe. The dress uniform includes a green jacket and royal blue tie (bow tie for motor officers). Cold weather and utility uniforms are dark blue.
Standard traffic enforcement patrol vehicles are required by state law to have a white door with, in the case of the CHP, a star. Special low-profile vehicles have long been a part of the CHP fleet. There are several all-white patrol vehicles as well as Chevrolet Camaros joined the CHP fleet in 2002. Painted white and sporting a thin, flat LED light bar, rather than the traditional seven-pod Federal Signal Vision unit, these pursuit cars were designated for enforcement of trucking laws, but are also used for general patrol duties.
The California Highway Patrol is one of the few organizations to continue to use the older toll-free "Zenith 1‑2000" number. With the falling cost of telephone area codes 800 and 888. numbers, most organizations have chosen to switch to one of the newer numbers and discontinue use of the Zenith service which requires operator assistance. The CHP's traditions include its own radio codes, which are widely adopted by local agencies. The most important is 11‑99, which signifies that an officer needs emergency assistance or that an officer is down.
In 1981 a charitable foundation called the 11‑99 Foundation was founded to provide benefits and scholarships to officers and their families. The members of the Foundation's Board of Directors have provided over $16 million in assistance to current, retired and those fallen in the Line of Duty CHP employees and their families. The organization's name is taken from the radio code.
Seven points of the CHP badge 
- Character: The qualities of moral strength, vigor, and stability (11:00)
- Integrity: The moral defense against corrupting influence (1:00)
- Knowledge: Acquaintance with facts and laws, combined with the awareness and understanding that sustain an officer through daily duties (9:00)
- Judgment: The ability to apply knowledge to the best advantage of all concerned (3:00)
- Honor: Highest esteem for the principles upon which the California Highway Patrol has been built (7:00)
- Loyalty: Faithfulness to the precepts of the Highway Patrol and to fellow officers (5:00)
- Courtesy: Respect for law and order and for the individual (6:00)
Code of honor 
The CHP has a code of honor. It states:
|“||I, a member of the California Highway Patrol, subscribe in word and deed to the following:
To serve the United States of America and the State of California honestly, and conscientiously; and fulfill my oath as a soldier of the law;
To uphold and maintain the honor and integrity of the California Highway Patrol;
Be loyal to my fellow officers; respect and obey my seniors in rank; and enforce the law without fear, favor, or discrimination;
Assist those in peril or distress, and, if necessary, lay down my life rather than swerve from the path of duty;
My personal conduct shall at all times be above reproach and I will never knowingly commit any act that will in any way bring discredit upon the California Highway Patrol or any member thereof;
To all of this I do solemnly pledge my sacred honor as an Officer of the California Highway Patrol.
Fallen officers 
Since its establishment in 1929, 223 officers have died in the line of duty. The top three frequent causes of line of duty deaths to date are (in order of cause): Automobile/Motorcycle Accidents, Gunfire, and Vehicular Assault (i.e., struck by drunk driver, reckless driving, or hearing and/or visually impaired drivers). 1964 was the deadliest year, in which eight officers died in the line of duty; 2010 was the second deadliest year, in which five officers died in the line of duty.
Mexico Liaison Unit 
The "Mexico Liaison Unit" is a Border Division Unit based in San Diego. Since the CHP has no jurisdiction directly in Mexico, officers from the Unit work closely with Mexican authorities to recover stolen vehicles and assist with other law enforcement issues. The purpose of the "Mexico Liaison Unit" is to develop and maintain positive working relations with Mexican authorities in order to:
- Locate and identify stolen U.S. vehicles taken to Mexico
- Identify vehicle thieves and ensure their prosecution, either in Mexico or California
- Provide assistance to Mexican and U.S. authorities
The unit was originally established in 1958 and only consisted of one officer. It was discontinued in the 1970s, and reestablished in 1980. The unit now consists of one sergeant and six officers, all of whom are fluent in Spanish.
Newhall incident 
On April 6, 1970, four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a 4½‑minute shootout in the Newhall region of Southern California. The incident is a landmark in CHP history because of both to its emotional impact and the procedural and doctrinal reforms implemented by the CHP in the incident's aftermath.
The shootout occurred in a restaurant parking lot just before midnight. Officers Walt Frago and Roger Gore had been alerted by radio of a vehicle carrying someone who had brandished a weapon. They spotted the car, fell in behind, called for backup, and began the stop procedure. When the subjects' vehicle had come to a halt in the parking lot, the driver was instructed to step out of the vehicle and spread his hands on the hood. Gore approached him and Frago moved to the passenger side. The passenger side door suddenly swung open and the passenger sprung out, firing at Frago, who fell with two shots in his chest. The gunman, who was later identified as Jack Twinning, then turned and fired once at Gore, who returned fire. In that moment the driver, Bobby Davis, turned and shot Gore twice at close range. Both officers died instantly.
When Officers James Pence and George Alleyn drove in moments later, they could not see suspects or other officers, but both immediately came under fire. Pence put out an 11‑99 call ("officer needs help") then took cover behind the passenger door. Alleyn grabbed his shotgun, and positioned himself behind the driver-side door. Both officers were mortally wounded in the ensuing exchange, and one subject was hit.
Gary Kness saw the gunfight as he drove along The Old Road and stopped to help. Kness ran toward the gun battle as shots were still being fired.
"I was driving to work as a computer operator when I turned the corner on the Old Road and saw the gunfire, I saw two CHP cars and a red car. I always say my brain said to get out of the way, but my feet ran the wrong way."
Kness tried to drag the mortally wounded Alleyn out of the line of fire. When one of the two assailants began firing at him, Kness grabbed a CHP shotgun lying on the ground and aimed it at one of the gunmen. The shotgun was empty, however. Kness grabbed Alleyn's service pistol from the ground, aimed with both hands and fired, hitting gunman Bobby Augusta Davis in the chest. When Davis kept advancing toward him, Kness tried to shoot again, but the CHP pistol was out of bullets.
"I was upset there weren't four or five more rounds in there. After that, I ran and jumped in a ditch. The dumbest thing is, I still had the service revolver in my hand. I was afraid when more police came they'd think I was one of the gunman. So I put it behind me and said, 'They went that way.' "
Suspects Jack Twinning and Bobby Davis escaped, later abandoned their vehicle and then split up. For nine hours, officers blanketed the area searching for the killers. Twinning broke into a house and briefly held a man hostage. Officers used tear gas before storming the house, but Twinning committed suicide with the shotgun he had stolen from Frago. Davis was captured, stood trial and convicted on four counts of murder. He was sentenced to death, but in 1972, the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty to be cruel and unusual punishment and in 1973, the court modified Davis's sentence to life in prison.
Of the incident, Ronald Reagan, who was governor of California at the time, said the following words: "If anything worthwhile comes of this tragedy, it should be the realization by every citizen that often the only thing that stands between them and losing everything they hold dear... is the man wearing a badge."
An emotionally charged follow-up investigation followed the incident, but eventually led to a complete revision of procedures during high-risk and felony stops. Firearms procedures have also changed fundamentally due to this incident, and physical methods of arrest have been improved. The police baton and pepper spray have been added to the officer's arsenal, with more in‑depth training in their use. In all, though the incident was a great tragedy, the reforms that stemmed from it have made uniformed officers more alert and better prepared for the dangers faced every day.
The 25th anniversary of the Newhall Incident was observed on April 6, 1995, at the present Newhall Area office, where a brick memorial pays tribute to Officers James Pence (6885), Roger Gore (6547), Walt Frago (6520) and George Alleyn (6290). The memorial once stood at the former Newhall office, but was rebuilt at the new site, about one mile (1.6 km) from the scene of the slayings.
Davis died in prison on August 16, 2009.
On July 12, 1995, the California State Police, which was a separate agency, was merged into the CHP, thus greatly expanding the agency's mandate. In addition to safety on the state highway system, it is now responsible for the safety of all elected state officials and all people who work in or are utilizing a state building in California, such as the State Capitol Building in Sacramento.
It has also been discussed to merge the Law Enforcement Division of the California Department of Fish and Game into the California Highway Patrol. By doing so, this may allow for better protection of California's environment and natural resources. The underfunded DFG Law Enforcement Division has faced low numbers of Game Wardens also known as Conservation Police Officers for the last ten years; a similar idea is already in place in Oregon and Alaska, where the Oregon State Police and Alaska State Troopers serve as game wardens under a separate fish and wildlife division within the two departments.
Duty weapons 
The current standard issue firearm for CHP officers is the Smith & Wesson Model 4006 TSW in .40 S&W. Each CHP patrol car is equipped with a Remington 870 Police 12‑gauge shotgun and a Colt AR‑15A2 in .223. Additionally, some officers are authorized to carry a taser. As of early 2009, officers have been allowed to mount tactical lights to their Smith & Wesson 4006 TSW pistols.
Vehicles and patrol cars 
The current patrol vehicle is the Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor. A small number of 2002 Chevrolet Camaros were developed, at first intended for commercial enforcement, but later distributed to many major offices for general patrol. Many will soon be retired as they approach 100,000 miles (160,000 km).
With Ford Motor Company discontinuing the Crown Victoria, the current replacement vehicle being rolled out in the latter part of 2012 will be the Ford Explorer for patrol units and Ford Escape for supervisors. The Dodge Charger was introduced as an interim replacement vehicle until the CHP decided on the Explorer. The replacement of the Crown Vic was rumored to be the Ford Taurus Police Special but was insufficient for weight requirements mandated by federal minimum weight standards. California requires their CHP units to meet weight requirements as though four officers in riot gear and related equipment were to be in the vehicle.)
Several vehicles were allocated to public affairs officers and are used for recruiting purposes. An example of these vehicles can be seen at the California State Fair and other venues. CHP also uses Chevy Silverados, Dodge Rams (for commercial vehicle enforcement), Ford Expeditions, and Dodge Durangos for their divisions that snow frequently or have certain terrains to permit off road driving.
The CHP utilizes both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft. In 2011 the fleet consisted of:
Rogue officers 
- George Gwaltney, a former officer from Barstow, was convicted on May 10, 1984, in federal court, for the on‑duty rape and slaying of 23-year-old Robin Bishop on January 11, 1982. Following conviction, Gwaltney was subsequently sentenced to 90 years, being eligible for parole after serving at least 30 years. Gwaltney died in federal custody from a heart attack.
- Craig Peyer, a former officer from Poway, is serving a 25-years-to-life prison sentence for the on-duty strangulation and murder of 20-year-old Cara Knott on December 27, 1986. Knott's skull was crushed and her body discarded over a bridge. Peyer was convicted of first-degree murder in 1988. Though he has maintained innocence ever since, Peyer has been denied parole consistently. In 2004 the parole board offered Peyer the chance to prove his alleged innocence by providing a DNA sample to compare against a drop of blood found on Cara's shoe, using modern DNA profiling to which Peyer declined.
- Tomiekia Johnson, a former officer from Compton, put a gun to her husband's head and killed him on February 21, 2009. The couple had been drinking and arguing.
Media references 
- CHiPs was a fictional television drama show of the 1970s about the CHP, and the CHP also helped out in the 1955 TV show Highway Patrol starring Broderick Crawford. Also the CHiPs TV series was made into a modern television film called CHiPs '99. A theatrical release motion picture version of the show has been announced, and is tentatively scheduled to release in 2011.
- Former CHP Commissioner Maury Hannigan was the host of the syndicated TV series Real Stories of the Highway Patrol, which aired in the mid-to-late 1990s. The show featured not just the CHP, but also the Minnesota State Patrol, the Nevada Highway Patrol, the Alaska State Troopers, the South Dakota Highway Patrol, the Massachusetts State Police, and in one episode, the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary. The series featured selected stories from state troopers and highway patrol officials from throughout North America who put themselves at great risk to apprehend those who instigated crime on their highways.
- In the science-fiction film Rise of the Planet of the Apes where they are assigned to shoot down several apes led by Caesar who have escaped from cages. The rebellious apes win the battle using a strategy plan that overwhelms the CHP and escape into the Muir Woods Forest.
- In the Cory Doctorow novel Little Brother the CHP liberates the Department of Homeland Security's "Gitmo-by-the-Bay" detention facility.
The CHP hosts or partners with various programs for public safety education and community involvement.
Youth programs 
- Start Smart- a class for prospective and new teen drivers
- Every 15 Minutes- a two-day anti-drunk driving presentation for high school students
- Impact Teen Drivers- a nonprofit against teen distracted driving that is partnered with the CHP
- Make the Right Turn- aimed at educating 11 to 14 year olds about drugs and peer pressure
- Be An Explorer- a law enforcement career exploration program for teens
- Sober Graduation- promoting sober driving and the use of a designated driver for teens
- Red Ribbon Week- a week in October dedicated to education about the dangers of illicit drugs for students of all ages
- Highway Safety Corridor Program- promoting caution on roads with high accident rates
- Senior Volunteer Program- senior citizens can help out in the community
- Designated Driver Program- program to reduce drunk driving incidents through using a designated driver
Origins of the California Highway Patrol's name 
When the CHP was formed, there were discussions as to what to call this new agency. The consensus was for the name "California Highway Patrol". The American Automobile Association (AAA) is a private organization which provided, among other things, roadside assistance to their members. At that time, the AAA had a fleet of trucks which patrolled the roads so they could assist their members. These trucks carried a sign which said "Highway Patrol". The CHP organizers decided it would be best to contact the AAA to see if they would object to the state using this name. The AAA considered the idea, and gave their consent.
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: California Highway Patrol|
- Highway patrol
- List of contract law enforcement cities (US)
- List of law enforcement agencies in California
- State patrol
- State police
- Crime in the United States, 2009, Table 76, Full-time State Law Enforcement Employees by State, Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- http://www.census.gov/popest/states/NST-ann-est.html 2007 Population Estimates
- History of CHP; the CHP-CSP Merger
- News Release 05-42, Media Relations Office, California Highway Patrol, 29 September 2005
- The Officer Down Memorial Page
- CHP-Mexico Liaison
- http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-chp5apr05,0,2233857.story. Missing or empty
- Anderson, John; Marsh Cassady (1998). The Newhall Incident: America's Worst Uniformed Cop Massacre. Quill Driver Books. ISBN 1-884956-01-7, 9781884956010 Check
- "CHP: The Newhall Incident". Retrieved 2009-01-25.
- "CHP: The Newhall Incident". Retrieved 2009-01-25.
- California Fish and Game Commission Meeting March 6 2008
- A how-to guide in revamping woeful DFG Tom Stienstra San Francisco Chronicle December 8 2002
- A world without game wardens? ESPN March 6 2008
- Game-warden shortage is about to get worse San Francisco Chronicle September 23 2007
- Lots of ocean, but few game wardens! Sacramento Bee August 23 2007
- Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division
- Division of Alaska Wildlife Troopers
- "FAA Registry". Retrieved 26 November 2011.
- Winton, Richard (January 24, 2012). "CHP officer collapses after she's found guilty in husband's death - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "Former CHP officer to be sentenced for murdering her husband - latimes.com". Los Angeles Times. March 9, 2012. Retrieved 9 March 2012.
- "CHiPs (2009)". The Internet Movie Database. IMDb.com, Inc. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
- CHP Terms Explained
Further reading 
- Crane, Bob, California Association of Highway Patrolmen Golden Chronicle 1920–1970, (Sacramento, California: California Association of Highway Patrolmen, 1970).
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: California Highway Patrol|
- Official website
- CHP Traffic Incident Information Page
- CHP recruitment website
- California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) website
- The 11-99 Foundation