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Sergeant Shawn Angulo
Graduated from the Academy in 1985

1. When did you first think about becoming a CHP officer? Include family, friends, school presentations, local or world events, etc. that may have influenced you.

I traveled the world with an international group called Up with People in 1981. While in South America, I had an occasion to job shadow a police officer for a few hours. That sparked my interest. Once I came home and began college, I was leaning towards becoming a corporate lawyer and already involved in staying physically fit. My mother saw an advertisement for CHP officer and suggested I apply. I had competed in running competitions, different sports, and cheerleading my whole life. I also lifted weights and competed in triathlons. I thought a mix of both worlds could be accomplished by becoming a CHP officer.

2. What obstacles did you encounter during your efforts to become an officer?

No obstacles during the Academy. The first obstacle I encountered was when I arrived to the field office. The wives of the officers who worked there were not happy about a female doubling up with their husbands. Although I was hired almost 10 years after the WTOP class (In 1974 the Women Traffic Officer Project was undertaken to study women becoming officers in the CHP. Read about it on the Women in the CHP link.), not many females had come through the Area office I first reported to. There were three female officers who reported to the Area office together in 1985. I found out we were only the second or third (group/single) female(s) that had come through that office.
My greatest obstacle was that I felt I had to prove myself daily and the older male officers were leery and not accepting of us/female officers. I found a male counterpart could commit the same offense, i.e. patrol car crash and although the male officer would be teased, it was all in fun. However, if a female crashed or messed up, it stuck with her for years and some incidents seemed to followed her for her entire career. For me, the feeling of having to prove myself daily did not stop until I had 10 plus years on.
I don't believe the feeling subsided because of time on, but because it became more common to have females go through the Academy and report to Area offices; thus, the change came because of the mind-set of the male officer(s) towards the female officers changed and became more accepting.

3. Describe what you were like in high school. Activities, sports, interests, etc. If you went on to college, describe your college life.

I came from a financially well off family, and we resided in Redding, CA. My parents were well known and social. My dad ran a very successful car dealership and believed in being generous with his money. My parents were family oriented, demanded and demonstrated high morals, integrity, and we had a strict upbringing. Two of us are CHP officers (I am a sergeant and my brother is a Captain.) Our middle brother just retired from the US Air Force as a Lt. Colonel, and our youngest brother was a sergeant in the US Marines. Both brothers put in over 20 years of military service before retiring. In grade school, middle school, high school and college, I participated in competitive athletics (school and city leagues), held positions in student government, participated in choir and musicals, and was chosen to represent my schools in a leadership positions. All members of my family are high achievers, patriotic, conservative, and active in their community and participate in physical activities. We are a close family. We were raised to believe our contribution to society should be positive and productive.

4. What jobs did you have before becoming an officer? You don't have to list them all, but we would especially like to know the one, or ones, you had immediately before going into the Academy.

My first job was cleaning toilets on rented houseboats at Shasta Lake near Redding, CA. I drove 30-45 minutes each way to get to work. My father taught us that no job is beneath you, to leave things cleaner then you found them, and always have pride in your work. My dad used to tell people, "My daughter is the head cleaning lady. She cleans the toilets, ha, ha!" I learned to appreciate the value of a dollar, to respect my employer, and appreciate having a job. Other part-time jobs I held: Social Security office, a deli, and worked as a receptionist at my father's dealership.

5. How did your family, friends, or different groups of friends, react when you were in the selection process and then became an officer? If it was a less than positive reaction, how did you handle it?

My family and friends were always very supportive.

6. What words of wisdom, if any, did you receive about becoming an officer?

My background/recruitment officer in Northern Division was very encouraging and helpful. However, the greatest impact on me came after I reported to my first area office by observing on and off duty, the officers who came before me. Their example and words of wisdom impacted me the greatest.

7. What are some of the interesting things you've done on the job (or off) while on the patrol?

I have worked in Northern Division (Ukiah) and several different field offices in Border Division. I appreciate the different job opportunities the CHP offers. I've worked road patrol, court, school bus and farm labor, public affairs, and commercial. As a supervisor, I've worked field offices, and in the commercial program which included supervising Farm labor Vehicle officers, and one of the dog handlers in the Border Division Explosives Detection Canine Program.

8. What words of wisdom (or encouragement) would you like to pass on to possible applicants?

The CHP has been a very rewarding career. I am service oriented, and my career has met my strong desire to serve the public and citizens of the State of California. Our organization is para- military; we work long hours, shift work, holidays and weekends, and it's not conducive to marriage and family life. However, if you are committed to making both work, it can be done! I am a 51 year old female. Married 25 years, we have three grown boys. I came on the Department at age 24 and have 27 years in law enforcement.

Stay focused, don't take short cuts, be a person of integrity, and never allow compromise in your life on or off.

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