Win or lose, Candace Kanavel will establish a first on Friday night.
She will become the only police officer to walk the runway in the Miss USA Pageant.
Kanavel, a Tempe police officer who is Miss Arizona USA, said while it might be a first, the two roles are not incompatible.
“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,” said Kanavel who works as a SWAT hotage negotiator and is trained in crisis intervention.
“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.”
The officer has started a movement called Yes She CAN “to encourage, motivate and empower women of all ages to embrace their confidence and capability and to perhaps consider what were once thought of as non-traditional careers for women," a city release stated.
Her role as Miss Arizona – possibly Miss USA – is an opportunity for recruiting new officers, according to the release, and the Tempe Police Department wants women to make up 30% of its force.
“I think that we are evolving. 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.”
Miss USA airs live on CW6 at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29.