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Warren Stanley has become the first African American commissioner of the California Highway Patrol (CHP).

Stanley, 56, was appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown, after climbing the ranks within the department for the past 36 years. He recently served as the department’s acting commissioner following the departure of former Commissioner Joe Farrow who left to become chief of police at U.C. Davis.

“I am extremely honored and proud to accept this appointment and serve as your commissioner,” Stanley said. “I vow to continue the CHP’s long and distinguished legacy of providing safety, service and security to the people of California and lead a department committed to earning the public’s trust every day.”

Stanley formerly worked as a field training officer, lieutenant of the Border Division Investigative Services Unit, and later served as commander of the CHP Academy. Prior to serving as acting commissioner, Stanley was the agency’s deputy commissioner responsible for the day-to-day operations of 11,000 employees.

Reared in Merced, Stanley received a BA in criminal justice from Cal State Los Angeles, then graduated from the FBI’s National Executive Institute which is a training program for the bureau’s executives and law enforcement leaders from across the nation.