Post #1 By Darren Mitchell
Life as a CHP Cadet

Training Day
The Academy is a live-in training facility that will accommodate 480 students. This will be your home for the next several months. Your training day will typically begin at 0730 hours and end at approximately 1700 hours.
You will be required to remain on the Academy grounds after training hours.

Cadet Fountain Ceremony image
Cadet Fountain Ceremony image

Cadets learn the drill procedures necessary to participate in ceremonies and tactical formations, such as riots and civil disturbances. Drill Instructors provide instruction in the proper techniques of marching. You will have many opportunities to practice marching while in training. This is the first area you will notice your class working as a team.
Room Inspection image
Room Inspection image

Personnel and dorm inspections are held at various intervals in your training. This will ensure that each cadet adheres to the high standards of the Department. You will be responsible for maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of both your dormitory room and your uniform. These inspections are important in your overall performance evaluation.

You will receive liberty on Wednesday nights and weekends, contingent on your passing the tests each week and absent any disciplinary actions.
  • Wednesday - 1700 to 2359 hours
  • Weekends - 1700 hours Friday to 2359 hours Sunday
Cadets are required to be in appropriate civilian attire when leaving and returning from liberty.
Meals are served between 0645-0730, 1145-1230, and 1645-1730 hours Monday through Saturday, and 0800, 1200, and 1700 hours on Sunday. The cafeteria provides a variety of prepared foods.
You will be responsible for choosing your meals appropriately. Cadets not meeting the body composition requirements will be placed on the training table and must adhere to a strict diet.
Cadet Dinning Facility image
Cadet Dinning Facility image

Cadet pay warrants will be issued after the first of every month. Keep in mind that you will only receive one pay warrant per month, so plan your finances accordingly.
Medical Care
You will have medical and dental benefits provided after your first thirty days of training. Should you become ill during the first thirty days of training, you will be responsible for any medical costs. Treatment for injuries that you suffer as a result of training will be covered by the Department.
Mail/Mailing Address
Incoming mail is delivered to the Academy on a daily basis, except Sundays and holidays. You will need to inform all correspondents to address your mail:
Cadet (your last name)
C.T.C. (your cadet class year, example: I-08)
California Highway Patrol Academy
3500 Reed Avenue
West Sacramento, CA 95605-1699

Each cadet is assigned to a dormitory quad upon arrival to the Academy. Eight to twelve cadets will be assigned to each quad, sharing common restrooms and showers. You will share a room with other cadets from your class and will be responsible for maintaining its appearance.
Cadets may receive emergency telephone calls once an emergency is verified. You should tell your family and friends that you cannot receive any other telephone calls during your training, other than when phone use is authorized.
Military Time
The Department uses standard military time on most documents. Military time has no colon to separate hours and minutes. The hours are number 1 through 24 (a zero precedes the numbers 1 through 9).

Post #2 By Darren Mitchell

Here are 13 fascinating facts about the CHP that you may not have known:
  1. They use tuning forks to calibrate their radar before they go out on patrol.

  1. Most speeders are caught because they bring attention to themselves by weaving in and out of lanes.

  1. The CHP realize their presence on the freeways slows down traffic, so they try not to spend too much time on the road before exiting so that they are not part of the problem.

  1. Airplanes that track automobiles with radar are used most frequently in the Victorville/Barstow area of Southern California.

  1. In San Bernardino County, the only CHP vehicles with cameras are the canine units.

  1. Automobile collisions are the No. 1 cause of death for teenagers. Lopez believes this is due to a lack of parental oversight and parents allowing their inexperienced drivers to get behind the wheel of "too much car." Lopez believes there is no need for a teenager to drive a vehicle with racing and/or high-performance equipment.

  1. To save money, some people drive illegally by not changing their license plates and updating their registration when they move to California. You can go online to to report anyone you know who is guilty of this. CHP calls this the CHEATERS program. CHEATERS is an acronym for Californians Help Eliminate All The Evasive Registration Scofflaws.

  1. Most car thefts in Southern California happen when people leave their keys in the car while it's running.

  1. The job of a CHP officer is not solely to write citations. Lopez estimated that an average CHP officer will spend a third of his time helping motorists in need, a third giving citations and a third doing paperwork.

  1. Officers do not have quotas for the number of citations they are supposed to write.

  1. Most people act surprised when they are pulled over for a citation.

  1. The most common excuses Lopez has been given by violators when he has pulled them over was that they needed to use the restroom or that they (or a passenger) are ill. When I asked Lopez if these excuses ever work, he replied, "This is Southern California. There's a gas station at nearly every exit. So I don't think so."

  1. Lopez said what impresses him most - and might result in a warning from him instead of a citation - is simple honesty.

Post #3 By Darren Mitchell

Daily News Article
Byline: Sherry Joe Crosby Daily News Staff Writer

California Highway Patrol
Officer Rafael Casillas remembers the muzzle flashes and the muted explosions as the 9 mm bullets tore through the door of the Granada Hills house.

The bullets pierced Casillas' stomach, left hip and right wrist, forcing him through two operations and two months of hospitalization from which he just now is starting to recover.

On Sunday, the 31-year-old Saugus resident began reclaiming his former life by joining 25,000 motorcyclists in the Love Ride fund-raiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Astride his 1994 Harley-Davidson Dyna Wideglide, Casillas sought to put more than miles between himself and the July 24 shooting.
Sunday was a really good day. It was going back to a normal way of life,'' said Casillas, sporting a beard and 13 fewer pounds since the shooting. Being shot had nothing to do with the day. That really showed me I was getting'' back to normal.

Casillas was shot after pursuing Terry Parker, 25, on the San Diego Freeway to a home in Granada Hills. Casillas had tried to stop Parker, a prison parolee
with a history of drug abuse and violence, for speeding.

After hiding in his home, Parker shot Casillas three times before turning the gun on himself during a later confrontation with Los Angeles police.

Casillas vividly remembers his shooting.

The shots came out quickly,'' he said. I couldn't see where the bullets were coming from. I knew I had been shot at least twice. But I had been shot three times.''

Bleeding and weakened from the bullet wounds, the officer was dragged to safety by his partner, James Portilla, and taken by ambulance to Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills where he underwent two surgeries. Casillas later was transferred to various hospitals, including Los Angeles County/USC Medical Center, USC University Hospital and Northridge Hospital Medical Center

Casillas remembers little of his first few weeks in the hospital, where he was in the intensive care unit under heavy sedation

. His brush with death has made him more appreciative of his friends and family, Casillas said.

It was a bad thing that happened, but good things came out of it,'' he said. I learned to appreciate my job more, and I appreciate my family. It gives you the opportunity to change things you wouldn't have before.''

Casillas thanks his family and girlfriend, CHP

Officer Tanya Kuykendall, with helping him recover from the shooting. A former nurse, Kuykendall helped Casillas understand the severity of his injuries.

She knew what was going on,'' Casillas said. She's calm, and that calmed me down. She's there every day by my side, and it makes it easier.''

The incident has brought home the risks they face every day as CHP officers.

``It's definitely an eye-opener,'' said Kuykendall, assigned to the west San Fernando Valley

station. ``You deal with (tragedy) every day, and you do your paperwork. When it happens to you, you take a second look. It brings everything you see home.''

Casillas, a determined and impatient young man, wants to return to work by April. He is focused on regaining his strength and the weight he lost while in the hospital. Before the shooting, he weighed about 145 pounds. Now he weighs about 132 pounds.

The bullets also severed a nerve in his right wrist, leaving him with a weakened hand that he is working to strengthen. Returning to work is his ultimate goal, though.

I'd like to go back to work. That was my normal way of life,'' Casillas said. I should be back. I want to go back.''

Post #4 By Darren Mitchell

CHP crackdown reduces S-curve mishaps

By: JOHN UPTON December 1, 2009

external image sfscurve11201.jpg
Traffic patrol: Police have stepped up enforcement on the Bay Bridge, handing out about 1,000 citations in the past two weeks and nabbing 34 drunken drivers. (Examiner file photo)
SAN FRANCISCO — A recent policing blitz on the Bay Bridge’s S-curve has helped slash the number of accidents on the deadly stretch.
Nearly 1,000 motorists were ticketed during the first several weeks of the enforcement increase, and most of them were issued for speeding on the 40 mph S-curve, California Highway Patrol spokesman Shawn Chase said. Tickets can cost drivers $100 to $300, and big-rig citations can cost thousands of dollars, he said.
The CHP launched the massive enforcement effort in response to a Nov. 9 incident when a truck driver plunged off the bridge. Tahir Fakhar, 56, was allegedly traveling at least 50 mph in a 40 mph zone while entering the S-curve, where he lost control and fell 200 feet to his death.
The accident rate on the S-curve dropped from roughly one crash per day, before Fakhar’s death, to two per week after Nov. 13, when aggressive enforcement of the curve’s reduced speed limit began, CHP figures show.
After Nov. 13, nearly 900 citations were issued to motorists and dozens more were handed out to big-rig drivers, Chase said.
Additionally, increased enforcement of traffic laws helped the CHP nab 34 drunken drivers, he said.
The S-curve — a temporary piece of roadway connecting the eastern span with Yerba Buena Island — was installed during Labor Day weekend to support efforts to replace the seismically unsound span.
Caltrans, the state transportation agency that’s replacing the eastern span, also made efforts to increase safety in the wake of the Nov. 9 accident.
The agency introduced reflective lane striping and additional speed limit signs, and painted reflective stripes on bridge barriers at the S-curve, senior bridge official Tony Anziano said.
A product called Tyre Grip was added to steel joints that connect the S-curve to the rest of the bridge to help prevent vehicles from slipping, Anziano said.
Accidents on the S-curve often occur because its sharp angles and reduced speed limit baffle motorists accustomed to a straight bridge with a 50 mph speed limit.
The sharp angles in the temporary roadway help drag traffic away from an area where the old and new bridges must both connect to a tunnel through Yerba Buena Island, Anziano said.
“The new bridge overlaps with the existing bridge,” he said.
The S-curve was designed to remain in place until construction of the new eastern span is completed, which may occur in four or five years.

Post #5 By Darren Mitchell

For more information and resources on how to be a CHP Officer, what it takes, and what they do, and what life is like for them, go to this site:

NOTE: As of December 24, 2009, the California Highway Patrol will only be accepting online applications in each CHP DIVISION during the following limited Pacific Standard Time periods:

Opening Date for Applying:
07/08/10, 8:00AM
09/09/10, 8:00AM

Closing Date for Applying:
07/10/10, 12:00PM
09/11/10, 12:00PM