Tempe, AZ – A 27-year-old Tempe police officer has been crowned Miss Arizona 2023 and will represent the Grand Canyon State in the Miss USA pageant later this year.
The Tempe Police Department (TPD) heralded 27-year-old TPD Officer Candace Kanavel’s big win on Facebook on June 7.
“Join me in congratulating Tempe PD’s own, Officer Kanavel!” the post read. “From Miss Tempe to Miss Arizona USA, your PD family is extremely proud of you! #YesSheCan”
Officer Kanavel, who has a degree in political science and criminal justice, told KSAZ she is thrilled to be a role model for Arizona teens.
She said there many parallels between her work as a crisis-intervention-trained hostage negotiator for the TPD SWAT team and her pageant career.
— Tempe Police Department (@TempePolice) June 7, 2023
“While they are opposite worlds, they actually complement each other really well. I would say my pageant career has helped me so much as a police officer and vice versa,” Officer Kanavel told KSAZ.
“Talking to the judges is a little bit of a negotiation,” she added. “You’re trying to tell them about yourself and really have those personal connections with them, and that’s exactly what we try to do as hostage negotiators. We’re trying to have that connection with the person we are trying to help.”
Officer Kanavel said she is hopeful her success in both pageantry and her law enforcement career inspires other girls and young women to embrace their passions with confidence, KSAZ reported.
“Being a feminine woman in law enforcement has its challenges because you are stepping into a profession that traditionally was built for men, so having to carve out that path for myself and make it known that it’s okay that I’m feminine and that I do pageants, and be just as good at my job as my co-workers who are not,” she said.