A woman will lead the California Highway Patrol for the first time in the department’s history following the retirement of Commissioner Warren Stanley, according to a Tuesday news release.
Amanda Ray, 54, of Sacramento, will become commissioner on Nov. 17, according to the release from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. Newsom appointed Ray, who is currently a deputy commissioner with the department, to the leadership post.
Ray will be the second African American to lead the agency, after Stanley, according to the release.
Like Stanley, she held every uniformed rank at the department. Her tenure at the department started in 1990, the release says.
Ray accompanied Stanley during a dramatic moment earlier this summer when the two law enforcement officers waded into a crowd of protesters who had jumped a barrier outside the state Capitol in the second weekend of protests following the death of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man who died May 25 shortly after a police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.
Stanley and other offices met with the protesters twice more afterward. He said in a followup interview that he wanted to expand diversity in the CHP, which is about 64% white and mostly male.
“I am confident that Deputy Commissioner Ray will be a crucial partner as we continue the important work ahead to strengthen community engagement in public safety and advance reforms to our criminal justice system that will help foster a more just and inclusive future for all Californians,” Newsom said in the news release.
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