Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
The California Highway Patrol

In Their Own Words

Recruiting Homepage Pursue Your Future Join us on Twitter! Join us on Facebook! FAQs about Recruiting Military Personnel Women in the CHP Life at the Academy Recruiting Forms Applicant Prep Program Applicant Study Guide Salary and Benefits Qualifications Officers write their own experiences Is This Career for You? CHP Geographic Divisions of California Physical Abilities Test Cadet Testing Schedule Cadet Bulletin Cadet Applicant System Seminars & Events

Officer Elizabeth Arbogast
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.

As a young girl I was interested in law enforcement. At the age of 15, I became a police explorer for the city of Anaheim. I became a police cadet for Anaheim at the age of 18. I started as a cadet at the front counter taking burglary and theft reports. I later transferred to the traffic department. I wrote parking citations and helped with traffic control at intersections.

My neighbor, now a retired police lieutenant, was a fantastic wealth of knowledge for me growing up. My police explorer advisor whom recently retired after 39 years was a huge influence on my life. Sgt. Martinez who has been the face of the Anaheim Police Department, helped me with mock interviews prior to testing with the CHP and asked me numerous situational questions, like, "What would you do if?" Sgt. Martinez was a positive role model in my life. I never wanted to get into trouble because I knew at a young age what I wanted to be and didn't want to ruin my future.

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

I didn't really have any obstacles to overcome. The hardest part of the testing process for me was the obstacle course. I contacted Westminster CHP office and found out they ran a practice obstacle course on the weekends to help candidates scale the 6 foot wall, drag a dummy weighing 180 lbs from a patrol car and handcuffing maneuver. For me, this was the hardest. (There is no longer an obstacle course in the testing process. To graduate from the Academy you will have to successfully negotiate an obstacle course.)

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 played softball and basketball. I was a police explorer so I had call outs and an academy to go to every year for a week. The police department utilized the explorers when kids were missing. In high school we had a police science class and police report writing class which I took.

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.

I was an Anaheim Police Cadet and I worked in a department store as a plain clothes security officer.

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?

I was, and have always been, a strong individual. I was a police explorer at 15 and in high school kids called me "narc"and would go silent around me. I figured if they were worried about me then they weren't the type of people I cared to hang around with.
I was very strong, and I credit this to my mother being strong. My father had a hard life and drank a lot. This was my reality.

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

I was always taught to be respectful, courteous and kind. Treat people in all situations the way you would like to be treated in a similar situation.

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

I worked as a resident post officer. I was called out of my home at all hours of the night for everything from collisions to loose cows. (Resident posts are generally in less populated areas staffed by one or more officers and affiliated with the nearest area office.)

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

Always be honest and truthful; nothing will hurt you more than a lie. Be kind to people you meet on the road while giving a ticket or taking a collision or making an arrest; this might be the most traumatic thing in their life.

Always believe your instincts they'll carry you through and get you home at the end of the night.

Return to "In Their Own Words"

Officer Recruiting Home Page

For additional information, contact the CHP at: 1-888-4A CHP JOB
(1-888-422-4756) TT/TDD 1-800-735-2929 EOE/ADA or by e-mail


For questions about the Recruiting Process, speak with a Recruiter by calling (888) 422-4756.