The California Highway Patrol’s (CHP) highest-ranking female officer has been awarded the Trailblazer Award by the California Peace Officers’ Association. CHP Assistant Commissioner Ramona Prieto received the award while attending the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Symposium in Irvine recently. The Trailblazer Award recognizes a woman in California who, by demonstrating outstanding achievement within their job tenure and in their community, has enhanced the visibility and stature of women in law enforcement.
“Commissioner Prieto took on a leadership role early in her career with the highway patrol and it is a privilege to serve alongside of her every day,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “She is a true role model for women in law enforcement.”
Assistant Commissioner Prieto started her career with the CHP 36 years ago. Throughout her career, Commissioner Prieto has worked in seven field commands and three staff operations. Notably, Prieto was the very first female motorcycle officer for the CHP, riding a motorcycle on patrol in Los Angeles for five years. In another first, on May 1, 2008, Prieto was appointed the first female Assistant Commissioner in CHP history, and oversees all CHP field and patrol operations from CHP headquarters in Sacramento.
“It is such an honor to win such an award,” said Assistant Commissioner Prieto. “When I joined the highway patrol there were 50 women total, and I knew them all by first name. Now there are over 400. My goal has always been to make it easier for those who follow after me.”
Prieto attributed much of her success to being an “impact player.”
She said that being a mother of five daughters also served as motivation to pave the way for other women.
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