Sadly for the San Bernardino Mountain ,communities California Highway Patrol Arrowhead Area Commander Lt. John Tyler will be moving on to a new assignment on September 1. In an interview yesterday with the popular commander he told me that his last official day on the job in Running Springs is August 31 although it could be earlier. Another lieutenant will be assigned to the area but whoever is assigned they will have big shoes to fill after Lieutenant Tyler .
As Commander of the Arrowhead Area CHP Tyler came to the mountain areas from the Needles area his transfer to Barstow means he will still be working in the Inland division. He told me that since he came from an assignment in Needles he is experienced in working in the desert communities with dust and sand storms and other challenges. Upon his arrival at his new assignment he will be doing the same job he has been doing for almost a year in the Inland Empire.
The lieutenant began his time in the mountains last January 2 so he has been on the job in the mountain area for nine months.
He told me that while he has enjoyed his time as commander of the local CHP area a vacancy recently opened up in Barstow so he applied for the position and he was hired.
“I came in after the big storm last January and my mission was to give the area a high level of service,” he told me during our recent interview…..and he has done just that! Recognizing some of the issues that mountain residents and visitors experience he has worked with Caltrans and other agencies to improve the level of service to motorists. He added that he has worked on minimizing road closures and keeping roads open for the traveling public as well as local mountain residents. Since last January’s major highway problems the commander said that he has worked to equip all the local CHP cars with tow straps. “This tool will give officers an extra tool to help clear roadways,” he said.
In addition to the focus on the January snowstorm event he has enjoyed working with the local fire departments to help coordinate efforts. He added that CHP officers were deployed over the July 4 weekend to help traffic issues from both the Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead fireworks shows. He commented that over that national holiday the CHP made adjustments to manage the traffic that they knew they were going to get….and did!
Tyler said that during the recent Lake Fire he was at the command post and he is very grateful to the fire departments that were involved with this fire that could have been so much worse.
On a personal level, while none of us want to see him leave he will soon be taking on new responsibilities. Although this particular CHP Arrowhead Area Commander hasn’t stayed a long time in the local mountain communities he has left great big footprints on the hearts of many residents as well as those he works with at the Arrowhead Area CHP office in Running Springs.
I like to think that as he moves on to a new job, with new responsibilities, he’s only going to Barstow not the moon. Those of us who have seen him in action know it’s a loss to our local mountain communities but hopefully he’ll keep in touch.