Sarah Richards, CommanderOffice of Community Outreach & Media Relations601 North 7th Street, Sacramento, CA 95811
Fran CladerDirector of Communications(916) 843-3310
Calif. – Three California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers received the Public
Safety Officer Medal of Valor during a ceremony hosted by the U.S. Department
of Justice earlier today in Washington, D.C.
The award presented to CHP Officers Ryan Smith, Vince Mendoza and
retired CHP Officer Robert Paul is considered the highest national award for
valor by a public safety officer.
entire way of life – our freedoms, our peace, our pursuit of happiness –
depends on the rule of law and those fearless, faithful few willing to stand
watch,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “I applaud the bravery and
selflessness of these California Highway Patrol officers as they are recognized
nationally for their heroism. They
exemplify California values and represent the very best of our state’s law
12, 2019, Officer Paul was assisting CHP Officer Andre Moye Jr. with an
enforcement stop and vehicle impound near Interstate 215 in Riverside when the suspect
suddenly retrieved a rifle from his car and opened fire without warning. Officer Moye was struck and killed, and
Officer Paul immediately drew his weapon and engaged the suspect before radioing
“Officer down.” Additional Riverside
Area CHP units immediately responded along with units from the Riverside Police
Department and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Paul was shot multiple times in his legs and, despite the life-threatening injuries,
held off the suspect until backup arrived.
Smith arrived after several minutes, and his patrol vehicle immediately took
rounds from the suspect. Officer Smith exited
his vehicle and returned fire and pulled Officer Paul to safety as he was
wounded in both legs. Officer Mendoza then
arrived and shot at the suspect with a rifle, drawing fire away from Officers
Smith and Paul. With the assistance of
allied agencies, the gun battle continued for more than 12 minutes until the
suspect was fatally shot.
actions of these men that day were noble, courageous, and crucial to getting
another officer to safety,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray. “I am incredibly proud of these officers for
their teamwork and the numerous acts of bravery which took place during this
While we tragically
lost one of our own that day, countless other lives were saved because of their
serve and protect the people of California, CHP officers vow to “assist those
in peril or distress, and, if necessary, lay down their [my] life rather than
swerve from the path of duty.”
mission of the CHP is to provide the highest level of Safety, Service, and
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