The Premier Law Enforcement Agency

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) is the premier law enforcement agency of the U.S. The CHP has patrol jurisdiction over all California highways and also acts as the state police.

The California State Legislature established the California Highway Patrol as a branch of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Public Works, with legislation signed by Governor C. C. Young on August 14, 1929. It was formed as a separate department in 1947 by Governor Earl Warren. The CHP gradually assumed increased responsibility beyond the enforcement of the State Vehicle Act and eventually merged with the California State Police in 1995.

In addition to its highway patrol duties, the CHP also provides other services including protecting state buildings and facilities (most notably the California State Capitol), and bodyguarding state officials. The CHP also works with municipal law enforcement agencies, providing assistance in investigations, patrol, and other aspects of law enforcement.

The California Highway Patrol is the largest state police agency in the United States, with more than 11,000 employees, 7,500 of whom are sworn officers.

CHP Mission Statement & Organizational Goals

The mission of the California Highway Patrol is to provide the highest level of safety, service, and security to the people of California. This is accomplished through five departmental goals:

  • Prevent Loss of Life, Injuries, and Property Damage
  • Maximize Service to the Public and Assistance to Allied Agencies
  • Manage Traffic and Emergency Incidents
  • Protect Public and State Assets
  • Improve Departmental Efficiency