Olson, a 24-year CHP veteran who most recently commanded the CHP office in Santa Maria, was originally selected for the promotion in March, but a statewide hiring freeze meant he could not be officially installed until July.
Olson replaced Lt. Les Bishop as commander. Bishop had served as interim commander since the December retirement of Capt. Christina Manriquez.
Olson, a Santa Ynez Valley native, said part of the allure that led him to apply for the promotion to Santa Cruz County was the beauty of the area, but also the sense of familiarity.
“I grew up on the Central Coast,” he said. “I thought (Santa Cruz) would be a much nicer area to go to than some of the other options.”
His goal as commander is to contribute to the community, promote safe driving and education and keep up good relations with the other branches of law enforcement in Santa Cruz County.
“Our primary goal here is to save lives,” he said.