The early years of the CAHP
CAHP formed in 1920


In the early years of automobiles and motorcycles, rough dirt or gravel roadways were the norm throughout California. In 1909, the California Department of Engineering was authorized to design a statewide highway system to join population centers along the coast and across the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys. Growth in vehicles and traffic also brought the need for traffic laws. Each county hired its own traffic officers and enforcement policies and tactics were inconsistent around the state. By 1919, many traffic officers from throughout the state saw the need for an organization to represent them as a group statewide and to help improve their professional and economic status. A meeting was held in Visalia made up of several traffic officers from various counties, but it didn’t gain traction until the California Association of Highway Patrolmen (CAHP) was formed in 1920. They worked to develop the membership and political resources necessary to succeed as an organization dedicated to improving officers’ pay and working conditions, which remain the primary goals today. From the beginning, the CAHP was dedicated to “Serving California’s Finest.”