The Oakhurst California Highway Patrol office effectively doubled its staffing last week, as 22 seniors graduated as the office’s first-ever volunteer class.
“It’s an honor to work with these people,” said Kaci Lutz, Oakhurst CHP’s public information officer who organized the program. “The younger generation could really look forward to what they do and learn how to serve a community with honor.”
Nick Norton, chief of the CHP Central Division, said the 22 seniors who were sworn in Friday, May 13 as SVP I-116 were the largest group he’d ever seen.
“It’s really great, because you can tell they’re going to do a lot for this community,” Norton said. “They’re going to be a great help in this office.”
As noted in a Sierra Star story when the class began its two weeks of training May 2, duties for the volunteers will range from in-office administrative tasks to acting as crossing guards at schools, depending on what each volunteer prefers.
“We’ve lost a lot of kids out there to vehicular accidents,” said Jim Condon, a 15-year construction manager and bus driver at Yosemite High School whose wife Sally also graduated the program. “So I feel it’s important to step up and help do something about it.”
Oakhurst CHP Commander J.R. Daughrity said in numbers alone, his office increased from 27 employees to 49, and he thanked all volunteers for their service.
“The bond with our community here locally has really magnified today,” Daughrity said. “This is about the best thing that could have ever happened to us.”
Mountain Area residents comprising SVP I-116 are: Michael Bradley; Roy Broomfield; Marianne Carwin; Jim Condon; Sally Condon; Gordon Crisman; Dale Deem; Gary Delvin; Alan Gil; Alan Graas; John Guthrie; Nancy Iden; Chris Jefferson; Ron Lingo; Geneva Mooneyham; Marina Ossit; Franci Pasley; Rich Regert; Lynn Russell; Ray “Bud” Russell; Garle Study; and Michael Vaughn.