Father and son get special CHP tour, recognition
|Caleb Allred sits behind the wheel of a California Highway Patrol car during his visit to the CHP academy in Sacramento on July 11. Photos courtesy Keevin Allred|
Being selected as student of the month paid off big time for Caleb Allred, a 10th-grader at Quincy High School. When Allred won the honors last April as a freshman at Plumas Christian School, he had no clue that three months later he’d have an experience of a lifetime.
California Highway Patrol Commander Joe Edwards noticed Allred’s picture in the newspaper and was struck by what he wrote about his plans for the future: “Go to a four-year university then after that go through a CHP academy.”
Edwards called the school’s principal and asked what kind of student Caleb was, Keevin Allred, the boy’s father, said. Then he called Keevin, who works in the probation department.
Edwards was impressed by Caleb’s desire to get a college degree before attending the CHP academy, Keevin said.
Next, Edwards offered to take Caleb and Keevin on a ride-along down to Sacramento for a tour of the academy and to attend a graduation.
Caleb said the first he heard of the expedition was when his dad woke him up at 5 a.m. on July 11 and told him to get in the car. On the way to the CHP office, he told Caleb about the trip to Sacramento that Edwards had proposed.
Caleb was thrilled. “The whole experience was outstanding,” he said.
CHP Sgt. Austin Matulonis hosted the Allreds for the day, Keevin said. He and his son got to ride along with Matulonis to the academy. Edwards and Sgt. Julie Nolta rode in a separate patrol vehicle. They took a tour of the academy, including the hangar.
Just as they arrived, some CHP officers were about to take a helicopter flight, and asked if the Allreds wanted to go. They didn’t have to be asked twice.
It was the first helicopter ride for both Allreds, and both said they really enjoyed their brief tour of the campus and nearby neighborhoods.
But Caleb said he really liked the landing: when the helicopter landed on the lawn, there were lots of people around and he said he felt special.
After the ride, they met CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. Keevin said he and Caleb were treated like VIPs. He said Commissioner Farrow walked up to them and said to his son, “You must be Caleb.”
Another highlight of the trip was the speed track driving course, Caleb said. He reported that it was amazing to see the things the drivers could do on their motorcycles, like sit-ups while driving 30 mph down the track. He said they also did tricks in their Dodge Chargers, like 180-degree turns while driving really fast.
Both Allreds said they were treated kindly and very professionally. Keevin said everyone they met was personable and generous, and took a real interest in Caleb and him. They ate lunch with the cadets in the cafeteria and said it was great.
Caleb had a chance to talk with Matulonis about college, which he said influenced him to lean toward studying psychology — the better to understand what makes people tick.
Because Plumas Christian School no longer serves high school students, and Caleb wants to play football, he is now attending QHS. He said he’s excited, and that he already knows most of the kids.
He recently attended football camp at Feather River College, and said Quincy coach C.B. Brown set him up as quarterback on offense and linebacker on defense. He’s practicing now at QHS and said he’ll be playing junior varsity this season.
The Allreds moved to Quincy from Taylorsville last summer, and Caleb said he welcomes the change. “There’s so much more to do,” he said. Although he has three brothers and a sister and enjoys spending time with them, he said it’s nice to have more friends and things to do.
Caleb also plays tennis, and likes to fish, hunt, trap-shoot and stay active.
Both Allreds said they are very appreciative of the recognition the CHP gave Caleb. They were surprised and grateful for the many opportunities afforded them. Before too many more years, Caleb might just make his way back to Quincy and find a job in the local CHP office.