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In Their Own Words

Officer Neil Pangilinan
Graduated from the Academy in 1998


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.

While working in the ER as an RN, I had the opportunity to associate with CHP Officers. They left me with a good impression that made me want to become one of them.

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

My obstacles were mainly personal in nature. Setting aside my personal and social life to attend the academy was probably harder for my wife and family than it was for me.


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 ran cross-country and track & field, held office in Student Body Government, and was active on the yearbook committee. Outside of school sponsored events, I was also very active in martial arts since I was 10 years old, snowboarding, skiing, kayaking, camping, hiking and traveling were also some of my interests. While in college, I fulfilled a term as a Student Body Vice-President and a term as a President. I earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing before heading to the CHP.


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.

Before becoming an officer, I worked as an RN in the emergency department and a Reserve Police Officer for Modesto Police Department.


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?

It was definitely less than favorable. My father is a surgeon and there was some expectation to follow in his footsteps. I encountered a lot of pressure but I knew in my heart that pursuing a career with the CHP was what I wanted.


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

Follow your heart and go after your dreams!


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

Thereís a lot of satisfaction from this job, especially when you are able to help people or make a positive impact on the community. I enjoy patrol but I truly love reaching out to the kids. I conduct presentations and read to elementary classes and help with safety day at a local school.


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

Know what you are getting into first, and if it is something you still want, then prepare yourself physically and mentally. This is not an easy job and is not for everyone. You have to be doing it all for the right reasons. It will take determination, hard work and discipline. But if this is truly your calling then you will rise to the occasion and succeed. There is no better feeling than graduating from the CHP Academy and receiving your badge!


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