First woman to lead Calif. Highway Patrol sworn in

Commissioner Amanda Ray this week became the first female leader in the agency’s 91-year history


By Suzie Ziegler 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The largest state law enforcement agency in the nation has its first female leader. On Tuesday, Commissioner Amanda Ray was sworn into the California Highway Patrol by Gov. Gavin Newsom. 

The historic move makes her the first woman to lead in the agency’s 91-year history, according to a press release from CHP this week. 

California Gov. Gavin Newsom administers the oath of office to Commissioner Amanda Ray.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom administers the oath of office to Commissioner Amanda Ray. (California Highway Patrol)

Newsom appointed Ray back in October after Commissioner Warren Stanley announced he’d be retiring after 38 years with CHP. 

“I am thankful to Governor Newsom for trusting me to lead this exceptional organization and honored to follow in the footsteps of many innovative leaders who have come before me, including my friend, Warren Stanley,” Ray said in the statement. “I would not be where I am today without the foresight of those in 1974 who decided to give women the opportunity to become CHP officers, paving the way for many women to assume leadership roles in the Department. I look forward to further guiding the Department and its 11,000 women and men in engaging with the communities we serve to ensure California remains a safe place to live, work, and visit.”  

Ray is a 30-year veteran of CHP. She was appointed as Deputy Commissioner in February and served as incident commander during CHP’s response to COVID-19, civil unrest and wildfires. 

NEXT: Leadership development for female officers

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