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Ralph W. Landre

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The Broken Center-Line
Ralph W., Jr. Landre  More Info

About the California Highway Patrol

On August 14, 1929, the California Highway Patrol was created through an act of the Legislature. The new law gave Statewide authority to the California Highway Patrol to enforce traffic laws on county and State highways - a responsibility which remains in effect today, along with many additional functions undreamed of in 1929.


The primary mission of the California Highway Patrol is "the management and regulation of traffic to achieve safe, lawful, and efficient use of the highway transportation system." As a major statewide law enforcement agency, the secondary mission of the Department is to assist in emergencies exceeding local capabilities. The CHP also provides disaster and lifesaving assistance.


During its first ten years, the California Highway Patrol successfully grew into a highly respected, effective traffic safety force of 730 uniformed personnel. After World War II, the legislature decided to consolidate and reorganize the Patrol's enforcement and administrative responsibilities. In October 1947, the Department of the California Highway Patrol was established and the position of commissioner was created to head the new Department.


The span of enforcement responsibility has expanded dramatically and the CHP has continued to grow and change. Today's responsibilities include truck and bus inspections, air operations (both airplanes and helicopters) and vehicle theft investigation and prevention. The 1995 merger with the California State Police also increased the areas of responsibility to include protection of state property and employees, the Governor and other dignitaries.


In addition to its enforcement responsibilities, the Department has taken a leadership role in educating the public concerning driver safety issues. The CHP has received state and national recognition for its innovative public awareness campaigns promoting use of safety belts, a Designated Driver when drinking, securing small children in safety seats and wearing motorcycle and bicycle helmets.





Ralph W. Landre, Jr., has published several articles in The California Highway Patrolman magazine, including: “The Day Fresno Burned,” “Motorcycle Theft Rings,” “Training Pays Off.” The U.S. Army has published his training bulletins at training centers in Santa Cruz, San Jose and during Annual Active Duty training with the Military Police at Camp Roberts and Fort Ord, California. The bulletins focused on preservation of evidence at crime scenes and interrogations and interviews of suspects and witnesses. He served as temporary Chief of Police for the new city of Capitola and at the same time was deputized by the Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office due to the police district the newly formed city was geographically located in. He then served as patrolman for the Santa Cruz PD before serving on the California Highway Patrol for over 29 years, retiring as a sergeant.


Ralph Landre is the author of The Broken Center-Line. Ralph Landre’s book is a memoir of the “incidents occurring to a Highway Patrol officer during approximately 30 years of traffic law enforcement while following The Broken Center-line around and over highways and freeways in different parts of our great state of California. This is somewhat like following the yellow brick road through the Land of OZ.”

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