It was the 1st Annual Celebrating Women in Yavapai County Law Enforcement event, recognizing women from agencies across the county. Leza Lachapelle-Dandos was the event emcee.
During Prescott Mayor Pro Tem Billie Orr’s opening remarks, she said, "We’re here today to celebrate you, women in law enforcement," Orr said. "I want to thank you right up front for all you do, each and every day, that you leave your home, and you come to work with whatever you're doing in law enforcement… When I was going to high school, options were not out there, basically, you did one of two things. You were a nurse, or you were a teacher… I look today at opportunities for women… The world is open to them. They can be absolutely anything that they want to be, because they stand on your shoulders."
Orr went on to recognize these women in law enforcement for five "C’s" specially describing them: Cool, Courageous, Committed, Caring and Community.
Prescott Police Chief Debora Black was sworn into office on July 19, 2016. Within 3 months, Chief Black had organized the 1st Annual Awards Ceremony for the Police Department. During her introductions, Chief Black said at that time,
"As you know, I am relatively new here. But it should be no secret how pleased I am to serve you as your Police Chief. Something you may not know, however, is that I love celebrations. Particularly those that honor and recognize the great work of good people. So much of the work we do is challenging, frustrating, even tragic. But here tonight... we will celebrate success and show appreciation… I believe it is absolutely essential to share the stories of courage and dedication of selflessness and compassion, both inside and outside our walls.”So, it should be of no surprise that Chief Black wanted to initiate the 1st Annual Celebrating Women in Yavapai County Law Enforcement.
"…As I share a few remarks about how excited I am to be standing here today," Black began. "This event was something that I imagined over two years ago when I arrived here in Prescott. And here is why: All of us as leaders of a police department feel a definite responsibility that comes with this position, to create the best opportunity for the members of our departments to do their best work to keep Prescott safe. As a woman in this position, I am also highly motivated to increase the number of women serving in our agency by identifying and removing obstacles from recruitment to promotion. We all know the numbers. Women make up over 51% of our population, yet only comprise 13% of all sworn law enforcement. In Yavapai County, the number is even lower…"
Four awards were presented to these Law Enforcement women
Michelle Medina, Business Manager, Prescott Police Department
Jennifer Julian, Records Manager/Police Aide, Clarkdale Police Department
Tristica Kendall, Evidence Technician, Cottonwood Police Department
Misty Edwards, Crime Scene Technician, Prescott Valley Police Department
Samantha Russell, Communications Specialist, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
Ashley Campbell, Deputy Sheriff, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
Jennifer Watson, Detective, Prescott Valley Police Department
Theresa Kennedy, Deputy Sheriff, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
Leading the Way:
Stephanie Foley, Lieutenant, Sedona Police Department
Monica Kuhlt, Sergeant, Cottonwood Police Department
Amy Chamberlin, Detective, Chino Valley Police Department
Kristie Hambrick, Programs Manager, Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office
At the end of the event, the Prescott Police Foundation’s Board of Directors President, Michael Broggie, made a few comments. Without warning to Chief Black or Deputy Chief Amy Bonney, Broggie presented an award to both of them in honor of the fact that they are the first women in the country to share the top leadership roles as Chief and Deputy Chief.