A California Highway Patrol veteran of 21 years took the reins of the department's Merced area office this month.
CHP Capt. Kyle Scarber began his role March 2 as the commander of the office, which covers most of eastern Merced County. Scarber is filling the role previously held by Steve Badilla.
Badilla, who was at the Merced area office for about two years, was recently promoted to assistant chief in the CHP's Central Division Office, Fresno.
Before his arrival in Merced County, Scarber, 46, was commander of the CHP's Counterterrorism Threat Awareness Section and the state's Terrorism Threat Assessment Center, Sacramento.
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During that time, Scarber oversaw the CHP's counterterrorism efforts with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security.
Before joining the CHP, Scarber served as an infantryman in the U.S. Marines for seven years.
A native of Texas, just outside the Houston area, Scarber said he's pleased with his recent appointment in Merced County and he's looking forward to working with other law enforcement leaders. "I love it. I like the town, the people, the community," Scarber said. "They're extremely nice people. It's relaxing and very down to earth. So far, I am enjoying myself."
Since joining the CHP in 1988, Scarber has worn many hats with the department, including field training officer, drug recognition expert, supervisor in charge of the department's Drug Enforcement Unit and incident commander for the AMGEN Tour of California bike race.
During his career, Scarber has also worked in Santa Ana, Fresno and Barstow. During the mid-1990s, he received a commendation for valor from the Fresno County Sheriff's Department. He got that medal after apprehending an armed robbery suspect.
Scarber is pursuing a master's degree in security studies through the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey.
The CHP's Merced area office covers the Merced County region as far north as Turlock, as far south as Chowchilla and the area east of the San Joaquin River.
As a CHP captain, Scarber earns an annual salary of $154,578, according to state salary information obtained by the Sun-Star.
Reporter Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or email@example.com.