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El Dorado Hills' Oak Ridge High grad takes helm of Placerville CHP office

By: Penne Usher, Telegraph Correspondent
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PLACERVILLE, CA - It has taken nearly two decades for Lt. Craig Root of the California Highway Patrol to return to his native El Dorado County and he’s now at the helm of the Placerville office.

The 43-year-old 1987 graduate of Oak Ridge High School has spent the last 18 years with the CHP in various locations including Los Angeles, North Sacramento and Marin.

He said joining law enforcement seemed like a no-brainer.

“My dad was in law. He was a CHP officer and that’s what I knew growing up,” Root said.

It took a few promotions to get Root to El Dorado County.

Root was promoted to lieutenant and worked at headquarters in Sacramento for a time before making the move to the Placerville office.

“I finally made it back here,” he said. ““This is home. I had to promote high enough to get here.”

After graduation from Oak Ridge High School in El Dorado Hills, Root attended Sacramento State University graduating with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Root has been married for 20 years to his wife Denise. The couple has three sons, ages 14, 17 and 19 who are all very active in sports.

The boys’ sports activities keep Root busy in his off hours.

“They play everything,” Root said. “Baseball, football, everything. What don’t they play?”

An avid sports fan himself, Root has little extra time on his hands.

“Spare time ... I don’t know what that is,” he said.

Work, family and sports may keep him busy, but it is clear Root wouldn’t want it any other way.

“This is the perfect place for me because I can be a part of the community,” he said. “I have a stake here because I’m a part of it.”