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In Their Own Words

Officer Henry Vangemert
Graduated from the Academy in 2002


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 thought about becoming a CHP officer when I stumbled upon a recruiting booth staffed by retired Officer Kimberly Mullins during a job fair held at the Hanford Mall in 2000.

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

My recruiting process was relatively smooth.


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

In high school, I participated in baseball and was one of the students that spearheaded the then new Army JROTC program.


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.

During high school, I worked for my grandfather refurbishing old restaurant equipment. A month after graduating from high school, I attended boot camp and served in the US Navy for four years. After my enlistment, I immediately landed a job and worked as an aircraft mechanic / painter for a company called Lear Siegler Inc for a year and a half prior to attending the CHP academy in November 2001.


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 was very supportive and excited.


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

None.


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

During break-in (2002), my training officer and I conducted an enforcement stop on a suspicious vehicle called in by a motorist on I-5. This vehicle was a U-Haul type truck pulling a flatbed trailer with a car on top containing a rocket launcher. It turned out to be the crew of the television show MythBusters en route to the desert to film their first episode.

A couple months after break-in, I was the first officer on scene for a greyhound bus crash with multiple fatalities on I-5. It involved a passenger cutting the driverís throat with a scissor and ultimately causing the crash. I was also the officer who apprehended the suspect.

In 2006, I apprehended a suspect that attempted to kidnap a 14 year old girl.


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

The grass might look greener on the other side but we have it pretty damn good here.


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