Phoenix swears in agency’s first female police chief

Veteran Officer Jeri Williams was sworn in as the first female police chief of the department

By Police1 Staff

PHOENIX — The Phoenix Police Department swore in Jeri Williams as the first female police chief of the department Friday afternoon, News12 reported.

“I have been given so much by so many of you here in this room, as well as outside those doors,” Williams said. “It is now required of me to step out on faith, leadership, experience and grace and lead this agency forward into a bright future.”

Williams was an officer in Oxnard, California since 2011, but has worked with the Phoenix police before as assistant chief. 

She praised her predecessor, Chief Joe Yahner, for his leadership during “tough times as a police chief.”

Williams told the station her priority as chief will be to change negative perceptions the public holds by increasing community policing. 

"The mission of the Phoenix Police Department is this: To serve, protect and reduce crime in Phoenix while treating everyone with dignity and respect, " Williams said.

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