RENO, Nevada (WJW) – Tempe Police Officer Candace Kanavel is the first ever law enforcement officer to walk the runway in the Miss USA Pageant.
Officer Kanaval, 27, is also a SWAT hostage negotiator and trained in crisis intervention.
So, she already has lots of experience under pressure.
“Not that long ago there weren’t any women in law enforcement. Now, there will be a woman police officer walking the stage of Miss USA. You can do any career and be anything you want to be. You can be all of the things you want to be,” she said in a press release posted on the Tempe Police Department website.
Kanavel says pageants and police work go together.
“At their core, they are very similar. When I’m a police officer, I’m serving the community, I’m out helping others when they need us the most. But in my other job as Miss Arizona USA, even though I’m wearing a different uniform, I’m doing the same thing. I’m serving the community and I’m making a difference.”
“Walking the runway or patrolling Tempe streets, we are proud of Officer Candace Kanavel, our Miss Arizona,” the city of Tempe posted on its Instagram page.
“Pageants have helped me become the officer I am today. They’ve taught me leadership skills, communication skills and teamwork. All of that directly applies to what I’m doing as a police officer.”
Officer Kanavel didn’t place in last night’s pageant.
Instead, another first.
Miss Utah Noelia Voigt won the crown.
Voigt is the first Venezuelan-American to earn the title of Miss Utah.
“The past seven years of my pageant journey have all led me to this moment,” Voigt wrote on Instagram days before the pageant. “I usually have a bit of nerves before interview, but right now, I feel completely at peace. I can’t wait to get into that room, connect with the judges, and show them 100% of who Noelia is!”
Also new this year, Miss USA’s first married state titleholder – Juliana Morehouse-Locklear of Maine.