There is a new commander in town with plans of outlasting his predecessors.

Capt. Bob Clements assumed the duties of commander of the Santa Barbara California Highway Patrol Station on Jan. 2, 2001. Clements, a 22-year veteran of the CHP, replaced Capt. Vince Calderon, who served as commandeer for the last year.

Clements has an extensive background in the CHP and most recently served as commander of the CHP in Truckee, near Tahoe, before forfeiting the position in order to assume command in Santa Barbara, according to Santa Barbara CHP Public Information Officer Mike Muell.

“He started in 1979, so he has been working for the CHP for 21 going on 22 years,” he said. “He now commands the Santa Barbara station, which covers Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta.”

Clements applied for the position last year but, due to the CHP selection process, was passed over for an applicant with more seniority. Although Santa Barbara’s commander was instated only a year ago, the unique circumstances of the region allowed Clements to reapply this year, Muell said.

“I’d like to stress that because Santa Barbara is such a wealthy area it has had trouble keeping a commander for more than the required minimum of one year, but this is not the case with Clements,” he said. “He loves the area and plans to stay, which is good for the department, the officers and the community.”
-Shaun P. McGrady