The California Highway Patrol is graduating two local men into their ranks today.
Patrick Shaw of Turlock and Christopher Benivedas of Merced have finished their 27-week training course at the CHP’s West Sacramento academy and will be starting their careers as CHP officers.
“It gives me great pleasure to see these two young men enter into the ranks of one of the finest organizations in the State of California,” said Merced Area CHP Capt. Sam Samra. “I have no doubt they will serve the public with great honor and dedication.”
At one point in time it appeared as if Shaw’s journey to becoming a CHP officer might never be realized. He joined the academy’s cadet training class in 2007, but suffered an injury which prevented him from completing the remainder of his training and was forced to withdraw from the academy. He went to work as a CHP Public Safety Dispatcher and started undergoing a lengthy rehabilitation process. His determination paid off when he rejoined the academy on Sept. 9, 2013.
“It has been extremely overwhelming, but as long as you apply yourself and keep going even when it’s hard, you will overcome it,” Shaw said.
After graduation, Shaw will report to the Hollister/Gilroy CHP Area Office and participate in the Department’s field training program. He eventually hopes to return to the area to serve his community.
Benivedas was a member of the Merced CHP Explorer Post from 2010 to 2012, and received an Associate of Arts degree from Merced College prior to entering the California Highway Patrol Academy. After graduation, Benivedas will report to the Redwood City CHP Area Office and participate in the Department’s field training program.