California Highway Patrol officer Israel Murrillo
California Highway Patrol officer Israel Murillo shows a new CHP vehicle that is dressed up to draw attention to hiring new officers at the statewide agency. Photo: Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

The California Highway Patrol is not only searching for speeding motorists and expired registrations: They’re also on the lookout for new officers.

Israel Murillo Jr., public information officer with the Santa Cruz area CHP, was campaigning recently at the Santa Cruz County Fair with a new CHP vehicle painted to draw attention to the statewide hiring sweep.

“Right now, the CHP is looking for 1,000 new officers,” he said while parked at the fair’s staging area where fire, police, Santa Cruz County sheriff’s deputies and ambulance paramedics were on display. 

Murillo highlighted these minimum requirements to join the CHP:

  • High school diploma/GED
  •  Legally authorized to work in the United States under federal law
  •  Age 20-35 
  • No felony convictions

Upon graduation from the 27-week CHP Academy program, cadets are promoted to the position of officer and will make a base salary up to $109,248.

Murillo added that a comprehensive medical, dental and vision coverage is provided for CHP officers and their families, with a “generous” annual leave program that accumulates with years of service in the department.

For information, call 831-219-0200 or visit

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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