Veteran California Highway Patrol Commissioner “Spike” Helmick announced today he will retire after leading the agency for nine years.
Helmick has headed the 75-year-old agency with its more than six-thousand officers since his appointment by Governor Wilson in 1995.
He will step down September 15th.
Helmick will serve the final three months before his mandatory retirement at age 60 as a state homeland security consultant.
Helmick joined the Highway Patrol with his brother in 1969, entering the force in Glendale.
His brother was later killed in a patrol car crash in Chico while on duty in 1989.
Asked during a news conference about leaving the C-H-P after 35 years, he said, “It´s tough. It´s very, very tough,” and then broke into tears.