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 donít 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 donít 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, ďMy daughter is the head cleaning lady.
She cleans the toilets, ha, ha!Ē 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 fatherís 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 youíve done on the job (or off) while on the
I have worked in Northern Division (Ukiah) and several different field offices in Border Division. I appreciate
the different job opportunities the CHP offers. Iíve worked road patrol, court, school bus and farm labor, public
affairs, and commercial. As a supervisor, Iíve 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
8. What words of wisdom (or encouragement) would you like to pass on to possible
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 itís 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, donít take short cuts, be a person of integrity, and never allow compromise in your life on or off.
Return to "In Their Own Words"