Calif. highway patrol appoints first African American woman to deputy commissioner
Amanda L. Ray has also been CHP's first female chief and assistant commissioner
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The first African American woman to be appointed as second-in-command of the California Highway Patrol in the department's 91-year history was announced Friday.
Amanda L. Ray, 53, will serve as deputy commissioner, overseeing the agency's day-to-day operations, as well as several administrative and field offices.
Ray, a 30-year law enforcement veteran, said she was "honored and humbled" to be appointed.
"I am grateful to continue to serve alongside the amazing women and men who are dedicated each day to providing the highest level of safety, service and security to the people of California," she said in a statement. "I look forward to continue to make the department one that our employees and the people of this great state can admire and be proud of."
Ray has achieved several firsts as an African American female officer in the department, including rising to the rank of chief and assistant commissioner, according to her CHP bio.
In her former role as assistant commissioner, she was in charge of a $2.8-billion operational budget and 11,000 employees.
Commissioner Warren Stanley appointed Ray as his deputy about two years after he became the first African American to lead the CHP in its top position in 2018.
"The CHP is one of the most respected law enforcement agencies in California, if not the nation," said Gov. Gavin Newsom in a statement. "As we mark Black History Month, and Women's History Month, I couldn't be prouder of Deputy Commissioner Ray's accomplishments and contributions to making the CHP the best of the best."
A native of Oakland, Ray holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley.
She will replace former Deputy Commissioner Scott Silsbee, who retired in December, the CHP said.