California Highway Patrol -
Integrity is represented by one of the points of the star that symbolizes the uniformed member of the California Highway Patrol. Integrity is also the cornerstone of the characteristics symbolized by the remaining points, and binds those characteristics collectively together. It is not the purpose of this memorandum to embellish; rather, I hope to shed light on facts which I believe exemplify integrity and the best qualities of the California Highway Patrol.
On 13 October 2009, an
‘overdue-party’ was broadcast to Mariposa and was received by Area units
working the afternoon shift. Officer Steve Lewis was on duty and assigned
to the east beat. The broadcast named Jessica Salas, of Midpines, as the
driver of a gray, late-model Nissan Sentra. Ms. Salas was overdue for her
work shift at the Cedar Lodge, in the Merced River Gorge of Mariposa
County. Officer Lewis put this information to work. He repeatedly
patrolled the route Ms. Salas likely would have taken. Faint evidence of a
vehicle’s tire tracks, tracks that left the south road edge above a deep
defile, were finally discovered along a stretch of SR140 known as the
Briceburg Grade, a steep, winding decent to the Gorge. Ms. Salas’ vehicle
was discovered approximately 400 to 500 feet down the side of the defile
among boulders and brush; Ms. Salas could be heard screaming for help.
Officer Lewis immediately radioed Dispatch and requested assistance.
Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department, Search and Rescue (SAR), personnel
were requested and subsequently responded. Ms. Salas and her one-year-old
infant were successfully rescued; they sustained only minor injuries. The
foregoing events occurred during a heavy, day-long downpour that adversely
effected all Central Valley and Sierra Mountain CHP areas. Officer Lewis’
actions likely saved the lives of two human beings unable to extricate
themselves from a serious predicament. Officer Lewis exemplified the
character and work ethic that is absolutely essential to a CHP officer. In
my humble opinion, Officer Lewis should be recognized for a job well done.