Traci Gallian says goodbye: My family takes many vacations together. My mom continues to say to this day, “If we never go home, we can never come back.”
At this moment in my career with the California Highway Patrol those particular words ring true. Every opportunity I have had with the CHP has been an adventure, and now it is my time to return to my home on the beat. I want to thank you who have read the articles, shook my hand at community events, emailed, texted or left a friendly note on the CHP Facebook page. Not only are your comments appreciated, I take each of them to heart. The opportunity to write for The Fresno Bee and represent the CHP has been fantastic, and I am confident my replacement, Officer Robert Montano will do a great job.
Welcome to your adventure, Robert.
An introduction to Officer Robert Montano
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I have been a proud member of the CHP for five years. Behind the badge is a man of faith, a husband, father, brother, son, uncle and a youth sports coach.
My journey to becoming a CHP officer began as a child. I was raised to always respect and appreciate the men and women of law enforcement. I can remember my father telling me, “Robert, if you’re ever in an emergency, run to the first police officer you can find, and they will help you!” From that point on, I have viewed officers as the helpers and defenders.
A few years after that conversation, our nation lived through one of its darkest days. The events that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, affected me in a way that I couldn’t comprehend. Through all of the destruction and chaos, our nation was witnessing true heroism unfolding in front of our eyes. The photos and videos that show the brave first responders running toward the danger when everyone else was running away inspired me. It was then I wanted to become a police officer and forever be a helper and defender of those in need.
Before joining the CHP, I worked in the telecommunication industry for seven years. My time in the customer service industry provided me with an experience that I find valuable in the next chapter of my life.
I applied for the CHP in fall 2009. After successfully completing the hiring process that next summer, I was recommended to receive an invitation to the CHP academy. This would normally be a time filled with excitement for a potential CHP cadet. However, at the time California was experiencing a massive deficit and newly elected Gov. Jerry Brown was forced to look at several options to cut spending. In February 2011, while I was still waiting for an invitation to the academy, Gov. Brown issued a statewide hiring freeze. The CHP was forced to halt its hiring to reduce our state’s deficit. This was devastating news to me, but through the power of prayer, I accepted that it wasn’t time for me to begin my police training.
I received a second invitation to the CHP academy in summer 2012. Attending the CHP academy was one of the most challenging yet rewarding things I have ever experienced. After the academy, I was assigned to the San Jose office. Reporting as a new officer to one of the busiest offices in the state was challenging yet rewarding I was quickly exposed to the good, the bad and the ugly of being assigned to road patrol. My training officer taught me the importance of overcoming adversity and using my past work experiences as a tool to becoming a proficient officer. Through this advice, I realized what an incredible opportunity I had been given: the chance to interact with the public daily and build trust through communication.
After two years in San Jose, I received my transfer back to the Valley. I have since had the pleasure of serving the Los Banos and Hanford offices.
On Sept. 1, I began a new journey as the Central Division community outreach officer. I am replacing Officer Traci Gallian. My goal is to maintain and add to the great relationships that she established as community outreach officer.
I am excited to serve the community and continue my goal of being the best representation of a CHP officer.