A Tempe, Arizona, police officer who was recently awarded Miss Arizona USA is working to use her newfound platform to improve relations between police and the communities they serve.
Candace Kanavel, who was crowned Miss Arizona USA last month, will compete for the national title later this year. She entered beauty pageants for 11 years before finally taking home the crown as Miss Arizona USA.
According to Kanavel, it wasn’t until she took a college course in criminal justice that she contemplated joining the police force. A former police officer in Phoenix and her professor put her in touch with a colleague in Tempe.
The Tempe Police Department issued a statement saying they could not be more proud of Officer Candace Kanavel representing the department. She started as a police assistant and has worked her way up to become an excellent patrol officer.
The “strain” between police and residents has been increasing, according to Kanavel. She’s hoping that by having that title, she’ll be able to help people see police officers as more than just their uniforms.
Kanavel isn’t only using her voice to improve relations between law enforcement and the community but also to encourage young women to pursue their dreams. Kanavel says the goal of her “Yes, She Can” campaign is to promote self-assurance in women.
Kanavel, a beauty queen and police officer, says she hopes to send the message to young girls that they, too, are capable of doing anything.
According to the Tempe Police Department, Officer Candace Kanavel is a SWAT team member and crisis intervention officer. She is a double representative for the city of Tempe and the state.
According to an announcement from municipal authorities, Officer Kanavel wishes to inspire girls across the country. They announced her participation in the Miss USA competition later this year.