A group of California Highway Patrol officers cross police tape keeping the public from advancing beyond Terminal 1 at Los Angeles International Airport as access roads were closed with flights delayed and canceled on Nov. 1, 2013. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)
More than 100 newly trained law enforcement graduates were warmly received into the ranks of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) Sept. 1 during a graduation ceremony held at the agency’s academy in Sacramento, California.
The 112-member graduating class, representing the largest of the year for the CHP, will increase the agency’s sworn officer count to over 6,600, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office.
“I applaud these men and women for dedicating themselves to public service, and their commitment to protecting the people of California,” said CHP Commissioner Sean Duryee in a statement. “As cadets, we provide them with an extensive amount of training to ensure they are up to the task of providing the highest level of Safety, Service, and Security that is expected from our department.”
According to the CHP—the nation’s largest state police agency—cadets go through a six-month training that includes vehicle patrol, crash investigation, first aid, traffic control, report writing, and more.
Additionally, the program also provides training on various codes, policing, mental illness response, crisis intervention techniques, and cultural diversity education, according to the agency.
The new officers, who will report for duty Sept. 11, are part of the CHP’s recruiting effort to fill 1,000 vacant officer positions, the agency said.
Meanwhile, another 125 cadets are expected to start their training the same day at the academy, which will bring the number of cadets currently training to approximately 350, the agency reported.
A California Highway Patrol vehicle in Orange, Calif., on May 22, 2021. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)
“These new officers represent the best of California,” Mr. Newsom said in a statement following the graduation. “I’m grateful for their service and their unmatched commitment to improving public safety in every corner of our state.”
The CHP is not alone in a staffing crisis, though.
A survey published in April by the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington, D.C.-based police and policy research organization, indicated police agencies are losing officers faster than they can hire new ones.
Although in 2022, the latest year recorded, law enforcement agencies are hiring more sworn officers than in previous years, staffing has continued to decline due to retirements and resignations, the research showed.
The Los Angeles Police Department, one of the largest local police agencies in the nation, has shrunk to its smallest size since the 1990s with fewer than 9,000 sworn officers, according to a July report from the city’s police union.
The same issue has been reported by other local law enforcement agencies, including the Long Beach, Riverside, Santa Ana, and San Francisco police departments.