Trailblazer Award Honors CHP Veteran

Ramona Prieto is the California Highway Patrol's highest-ranking female officer and also was its first female motorcycle officer.

The California Peace Officers' Association recently presented its Trailblazer Award to the California Highway Patrol's highest-ranking female officer, CHP Assistant Commissioner Ramona Prieto, during the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Symposium held in Irvine, Calif. CHP's news release said the award recognizes a woman in California who, by demonstrating outstanding achievement in her job tenure and in her 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," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said. "She is a true role model for women in law enforcement."

During her 36-year CHP career, Prieto has worked in seven field commands and three staff operations. She was the first female motorcycle officer for the agency and became its first female assistant commissioner when she was appointed on May 1, 2008. She oversees all CHP field and patrol operations from CHP headquarters in Sacramento.

"It is such an honor to win such an award. When I joined the highway patrol there were 50 women total, and I knew them all by first name," Prieto said. "Now there are over 400. My goal has always been to make it easier for those who follow after me." According to the release, said also said being a mother of five daughters motivated her to pave the way for other women.

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