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New Senior Volunteers at Oakhurst Area CHP Dec 2017 - photo by Gina Clugston

New CHP Senior Volunteers Earn Their Badges

OAKHURST — Eight new Senior Volunteers proudly joined the ranks at the Oakhurst Area CHP Office on Wednesday, Dec. 6, bringing the number in the Oakhurst Senior Volunteer Program (SVP) to twenty-seven.

Officer Kaci Lutz, who heads up the program, says the Oakhurst office has far more Senior Volunteers than any other CHP office in the state, and others are wanting to know their secret for recruitment.

“This is such a priority to me, and my whole heart is in it,” said Lutz. “It takes a lot to bring up a program like this. I love my Senior Volunteers dearly and love what they stand for. To say they complement this department and specifically this office, would be an understatement. I have really come to depend on them.”

Officer Lutz works to identify the various interests and skill sets of the Senior Volunteers, and groups them into teams that assist with such duties as school zone patrols, setting out radar trailers, delivering vehicles to and from the shop, assisting with traffic compliance and at events, handling administrative office duties, meeting and greeting the public, delivering documents to court or CHP Central Division, preparing Emergency Medical Responder bags, researching registration violations, and basically “flying the colors” to serve as a visual deterrent where needed.

Peter Studt receives badge from SVP Commander Michael Vaughn

On this day, the eight new Volunteers were presented their badges by 2016 SVP Academy graduate Michael Vaughn, who served more than 30 years on the Los Angeles Police Department and now serves as SVP Academy Commander.

Here are the new Senior Volunteers in the Oakhurst CHP Office:

  • Barbara Graves
  • Richard Graves
  • Carla Griesner
  • Cannon Hill
  • Karen Kirk
  • David Read
  • Penni Simily
  • Peter Studt

Penni Simily gets new CHP SVP badge

After the badges were presented to the new recruits, friends and family members had the honor of pinning them onto uniforms for the first time.

The number of Senior Volunteers now exceeds the number of officers at the Oakhurst CHP.

Sgt. Ethan Jackson welcomed the newly-inducted Volunteers to their mission of public service as part of the Oakhurst CHP family, and noted that the local SVP is the flagship model for the department.

“There is no greater purpose than to volunteer in service to the public,” said Sgt. Jackson.

The SVP started as a pilot program in 1989 at the San Juan Capistrano Area office. In November 1992, the SVP became an official program within the CHP. The program utilizes the knowledge, experience, skills and wisdom of seasoned adults from various backgrounds, and the value of what Volunteers bring as role models, mentors and overall life experience cannot be measured.

The value of hours donated by Senior Volunteers surpassed $5 million this calendar year, according to the CHP.

If you would like to learn more about the SVP in Oakhurst, please contact Officer Kaci Lutz at 559-658-6611.

You’re Never Too Old To Be Blue And Gold!

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