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Local CHP Officer's Margaret Thatcher Connection

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Apr 08 2013 09:48:57 PM CDT

A Northstate CHP officer had met and worked security detail for former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Thatcher died this morning in London after a stroke -- she was 87.

At the beginning of his career, Redding area CHP Officer Jeff Tempest worked security details for dignitaries, diplomats, heads of state and even presidents in Southern California.

During the details he would provide protection and traffic controls.

Tempest worked such a detail for Thatcher in the early 90s shortly after she left 10 Downing St. He also worked another detail for Thatcher a few years later when she attended Ronald Reagan's 83rd birthday. 

He said while she was rigid and formal, she also had a sense of humor.

"I remember her joking about the height of one of the guys in the detail," Tempest said, "and she kind of liked that he was close to her height so she made a joke about that. So even being the uptight British, she still had quite a sense of humor."

Tempest also worked security details for Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton as well as for Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Nelson Mandela.

He said he often looks back at the memories of protecting such important historic figures and realizes what special opportunities he has had.