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Women's Issues - From a Woman's Perspective

Being a CHP officer is exciting!

As CHP officers, we patrol the state freeways and unincorporated county roadways, as well as all state-owned facilities and property. We are a very diverse agency in that we perform many different duties ranging from patrolling the streets to protecting the Governor. Some of our special assignments include, but are not limited to, drug interdiction, auto theft, accident investigation, DUI enforcement, K-9 units, Air Operations, and motorcycle patrol, to mention a few.

Is being a CHP officer dangerous?

As with any other law enforcement career, being a CHP officer can be dangerous. Officers provide public safety every day to those who are in need of our assistance whether in a hazardous situation or a controlled environment. In any event, the CHP is committed to their officers by providing the best training available to ensure that the duties of an officer are carried out in the safest way possible, both for the public as well as the officer.

I've heard the physical training portion of the Academy is extremely difficult?

Women generally tend to have more problems with upper body strength activities than in any other area of physical training. Following a strict exercise program involving push-ups, pull-ups, and free weights for the chest and shoulder area will help tremendously in ensuring that you are properly prepared for the Academy. During the Academy, running is the primary form of aerobic workout. Set a goal for yourself in preparation for this portion of the Academy. Start out slowly until you build to a minimum of two to three miles in 20-27 minutes. That averages out to roughly a nine to ten minute mile. These preparations will enhance your performance at the Academy and help build your confidence in your ability to be a CHP officer.

Someday I would like to start a family. How does that fit in with my career as a CHP officer?

Many of the women on the CHP have started families of their own, and have found that the Department is very supportive of this personal and very important decision in a woman's life. The CHP allows a six-week maternity leave plan with pay. Benefit options include Non-Industrial Disability Insurance (NDI). Employees in the annual leave program can receive NDI payments at 50 percent of their gross salary or supplement with credits up to 100 percent income replacement.

By state law, you are also allowed up to a one-year leave of absence without losing your present position. The CHP also offers great insurance benefits that will assist with the high cost of medical bills that can be incurred by having a child.

I have small children and attending the Academy for six months would be an incredible hardship.

Women who make the very brave decision to attend the Academy while they have children at home do so for the long term security and benefits the CHP provides for all families. There is no denying the fact that for a single parent, attending the Academy presents some almost impossible challenges. However, single parents have done this with careful planning and the support of their family and close friends. Keep in mind, the rewards after you graduate are well worth the initial struggle.

Where will I be working after graduating from the Academy?

Placements within the state are based on needs of the Department. As you near the end of your six months of Academy training, you will be given a list of openings throughout the state. The list consists of CHP Area offices that are in need of officers. You list the offices according to your personal preference. If you own property near an Area office that is on the list, you may be given preference to be picked for that position consistent with your seniority in your cadet class.

Realistically, the Department's vacancies are usually in metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay area, the San Joaquin Valley, or the desert areas. Nearly all officers begin their careers in one of those locations. Keep in mind that one of the advantages of being a CHP officer is that after one year on the job, you may transfer anywhere in the state your seniority will take you.

How are women accepted in law enforcement?

Our society has come a long way in its thinking. Now more than ever, our female law enforcement officers are respected by their peers as well as the public for their positive attitudes and calming effect they have on potentially volatile situations. In the law enforcement community, we have come to realize that strength is not necessarily the most important attribute when dealing with potentially violent situations.

In the CHP, women have been working side-by-side with their male counterparts for 25 years. During this time, women have become an integral part of every aspect of the CHP, from patrolling the freeways as an officer, protecting the Governor, to commanding operations involving hundreds of subordinates and multi-million dollar budgets.

Why should I choose the CHP instead of a Police or Sheriff's Department?

There are many good reasons for choosing the CHP, such as the many diverse jobs and rapid promotional opportunities. Also, unlike many Departments where new officers must spend the first several years of their careers working in a jail environment or in an administrative job, with the CHP, as soon as you have successfully completed the Academy, you will be doing what you were trained to do... providing safety and assistance to the public and enforcing the law! You also have the ability to transfer anywhere in the state. What this means is as your personal or family needs change, you can transfer to any of the 140 different locations statewide. In other words, you won't have to spend your whole career working in the same location unless you want to. So you see, our Department is very unique with its many diverse opportunities.

If you have questions or would like to communicate directly with a female CHP officer, please call 1-877-WOMEN CHP (1-877-966-3624), which is a toll-free number, or click here to send an e-mail message to women@chp.ca.gov. This will allow you to address any specific issues, questions or concerns which you may have.

   

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