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In Their Own Words

Officer Lacey Heitman
Graduated from the Academy in 2009


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 first thought about becoming a CHP Officer while I was attending school, majoring in Criminal Justice. I knew I had an interest and wanted a career dealing with the law, however, I did not know what my role would be. After 2 years of Law School I decided that I wanted to be on the other spectrum of the law. I decided on law enforcement, and applied to join the best. I went on two ride-a-longs with a female CHP Officer in the Red Bluff Area, and I was hooked.

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

For me, the application process was rather quick and easy. The most difficult part was the physical and mental preparation for the Academy.


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

I received good grades and was actively involved in high school and college. I come from a cattle ranching, rodeo, and hunting family. During high school and college I participated in rodeos throughout California, Nevada, and Oregon. My family has a hunting guide and packing service, so we spent weekends in the mountains.


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.

Prior to attending the CHP Academy I was a loan officer for the Golden 1 Credit Union in Redding, Ca. I worked full time while attending law school full time in the evenings. I worked for the Golden 1 Credit Union for 5 years.


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 skeptical about my decision to join the CHP. Nobody in my family was prior law enforcement and they did not understand my desire to be a CHP Officer. However, once I started the Academy my family was extremely supportive and encouraging during the process. Now, they have a better understanding of what I do and why I wanted to join the CHP, and they are very proud of me.


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

None, really.


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

I have been an Officer for 3 years now. I spent the first two years working the road. For the past year, I have had the pleasure of being the Public Information Officer, Evidence Officer, Court Officer, and Training Officer for the Quincy Area. These positions have given me a better understanding of the Department and allowed me to utilize my public relations skills. The most rewarding has been the Public Information Officer position where I have participated in and organized programs like: Every 15 Minutes, Impact Teen Drivers Presentations, and Start Smart.


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

The Academy is very challenging and will test your willpower and determination. Take it one day at a time and keep in mind the end goal; it truly is the most rewarding career.


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