SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The California Highway Patrol’s newest commissioner is the first woman and the second African American to hold the position.
CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray will hold that historic position in one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the country.
“I am honored if I can be a role model to anyone,” Ray told FOX40.
Ray was sworn in this week.
“I don’t feel pressure; I feel a sense of pride to go out there and move our department forward,” Ray said. “It’s more of an honor than anything.”
But for the Oakland native, a career in law enforcement was not her original dream.
“I grew up wanting to be a dentist. I came onto the CHP to earn money for grad school. I had a plan to stay approximately two to three years,” Ray said.
But she ended up staying on for 30 so far. Ray has served at every level of law enforcement, commanding recent high-profile events, including the department’s response to COVID-19, wildfires and civil unrest.
Following a tumultuous year across the country for law enforcement but with just days into the job, Ray said she isn’t ready to share her vision just yet for the CHP.
But she did say opening up lines of communication with the community is key.
“We will be able to improve public trust and public relations through more self examination, looking at our policy and procedures anywhere where we can see if there’s anything we can do to improve ourselves and thus improve those relationships,” Ray explained.