Highway patrolman does it his way
Chavez is a native of Yuma, Arizona, where he began his career with the Department of Public Safety. A graduate of Arizona Western College, Chavez later moved to the Phoenix area after being promoted to sergeant. His career has primarily consisted of working in the highway patrol division (patrol officer) and the commercial vehicle enforcement unit. He has been an active member of the Arizona Highway Patrol Association (HPA), where he served as vice president from 2004 to 2007. Since then, Chavez has been president up to the present. Founded in 1958, the HPA’s mission is to promote the positive role of law enforcement professionals, and to protect and secure rights and benefits for their members through effective representation with local, state and national governments. Chavez is also the current president of the Arizona Police Association.
A typical day: My entire time with the agency has been in the Highway Patrol Division. I worked the highways enforcing traffic laws, investigating collisions, making arrests, assisting other agencies, etc. Currently, I am assigned to administrative duties within Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. I work with federal grants that the agency receives, as well as assisting the two commanders.
Inherent dangers you face: Working the highways, the inherent danger is not knowing who is in the vehicle I am about to stop. The traffic stop is probably one of the most dangerous aspects of law enforcement.
Proudest moments: These include the successful prosecution and incarceration of those who have caused serious injury or death because they chose to drive under the influence.
Why did you decide to become a police officer? I happened upon this career choice after meeting and becoming good friends with a police officer while I was living in Tucson. I was exposed to the job after talking with him and riding along during a few of his shifts. After that, I knew this was what I wanted to do.
Greatest satisfaction for serving: Knowing that I do this because I want to and those with whom I come in contact know it also. I have had a long career that has been nothing but fun from day one.