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California has many agencies in charge of different parts of the state, from public safety to taxes to managing roadways. Out of the many government-run agencies in California, a few have mascots used for outreach and spreading awareness.


Chipper was introduced as the CHP's mascot in 1991.
Photo courtesy of the California Highway Patrol

Since the 1990s, the California Highway Patrol has had a chipmunk named Chipper as its mascot. Chipper was introduced as the CHP’s mascot in 1991, 62 years after the CHP was created through the California legislature. 

Chipper is dressed like any other CHP officer, with a hat and uniform that includes a badge and a nametag with his name. 

The duties of the CHP mascot include making appearances at events, being involved in youth programs and services, and doing outreach for traffic and safety laws. 

Captain Cal

Courtesy of CAL FIRE NEU

While Smokey Bear is the nation’s mascot for fire prevention, Cal Fire has its own safety mascot — a mountain lion named Captain Cal. 

Captain Cal was unveiled on June 2019 after five years of development by Cal Fire and former Disney artist Toby Wilson. 

The mascot’s duties include educating the public on fire safety, pool safety and earthquake preparedness. Captain Cal also appears doing outreach for Cal Fire at fire safety events, county fairs, and community events. 

Safety Sam

Caltrans mascot mascot, Caltrans logo, Caltrans
Courtesy of Caltrans

The California Department of Transportation has the state’s newest mascot – and it’s not an animal. Caltrans recently introduced Safety Sam, an enthusiastic orange traffic cone.

The mascot’s name was unveiled on Feb. 6, 2022, after a statewide naming contest was held for K-12 students. 

Transportation officials said they’ll use the mascot for community outreach and educate Californians about the importance of moving over a lane or slowing down when they see orange cones and highway workers on roadways.