.CHP Captain Aaron Ching Bids Farewell

While some retirees may sail off into the sunset, California Highway Patrol Captain Aaron Ching is taking a new approach to that old adage as he prepares to paddle into the sunset. 

Thanks to Neftali Espino of Honeymoon Surfboards and efforts by CHP staff, Ching was handed a new 6-foot handcrafted redwood surfboard on Dec. 15 during a retirement ceremony for him at the CHP Aptos office.

With about 30 personnel on hand, a dispatcher read a final farewell statement over the CHP patrol radio: “We bid you a fond farewell today, after 27 years of exemplary service. You began your journey at the CHP Academy on May 20, 1996.” 

Ching started out as a motorcycle officer and went on to become a sergeant in 2007. In 2013 Ching was promoted to lieutenant and  commander of the judicial protection section.

On top of a list of other duties, Ching became a captain in 2018 and transferred to Santa Cruz area CHP in 2020.

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“You have been dedicated to the community and played a number of significant roles as a first responder,” the dispatcher said. “Capt. Ching, you are leaving an indelible mark with the CHP and the community.”

Born and raised in the Hawaiian Islands, Ching moved to California to pursue a career with the CHP. As a captain he has overseen 63 uniformed personnel.

Maureen McCarthy presented a framed certificate of recognition to Ching on behalf of assemblywoman Gail Pellerin’s office.

“I will miss all of you,” Ching said. “This is a bittersweet exit; I will always be thinking of you.”


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Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.
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