Groundbreaking Miss USA Contestant: Meet Candace Kanavel, the First Law Enforcement Officer

Arizona beauty pageant Candace Kanavel communication skills empowerment feminine strength history hostage negotiator law enforcement officer Miss USA police officer self-assurance support. SWAT team Tempe Police Department Yes She Can initiative

Posted October 3, 2023 by: Admin #News

The upcoming Miss USA competition on September 29 is set to make history with the participation of the first-ever law enforcement officer vying for the title. Candace Kanavel, who describes herself as a beauty queen during the day and a police officer at night, is set to represent Arizona in this groundbreaking event, as announced by the Tempe Police Department.


Though initially, her roles as a beauty queen and a hostage negotiator may appear unrelated, Kanavel contends that they share significant similarities. The 27-year-old, who serves as a hostage negotiator on the SWAT team, asserts that the skills she has honed as an officer have proven invaluable in the realm of beauty pageants.

According to Kanavel, “Many of the qualities required of me as an officer directly translate to my role as Miss Arizona USA and vice versa. I must excel as a communicator, exhibit strong leadership, and adapt to diverse situations with ease,” as she conveyed to KNXV.

Her platform is focused on empowering women to cultivate inner strength and self-assurance.

Officer Kanavel shares, “When I’m in my police uniform, I’m empowered to help people, and when I’m wearing my sash and crown, I’m still empowered to make a difference. Essentially, I’m performing the same role, just in a different outfit.”


Kanavel is the founder of the initiative “Yes She Can,” which places emphasis on self-confidence and potential.

“I initiated ‘Yes She Can’ based on my personal journey, but also due to the prevalent misconception that people often perceive me as an exceedingly feminine woman and underestimate my capabilities,” she explained. “This is a common experience for many women, especially those in my line of work as police officers. People tend to associate femininity with weakness, which is simply not the case.”


She added, “I aim to offer those not in law enforcement a glimpse into the lives of officers. We have interests, families, and diverse aspects of our lives beyond our profession.”

It’s truly remarkable to witness a law enforcement officer participating in the Miss USA pageant. Let’s all show our support and cheer her on as she competes.


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