Walking the walk

Katie Couric reports on the largest U.S. city to have women head both police and fire departments


With the recent hiring of Jeri Williams as police chief and Kara Kalkbrenner as fire chief, Phoenix has become the largest city in the country to feature a women at the helm of both its police and fire departments, according to a report by Katie Couric for Yahoo News. Perhaps almost as remarkably, Kalkbrenner and Williams have known each other since junior high school, and go so far as to describe themselves as best friends.

“Kara and I both know the tremendous responsibility that comes with being the first female and I’ve learned from Kara to be very gracious at accepting that responsibility,” said Williams as she sat alongside her friend Kalkbrenner for an interview with Couric. “We’re not the only ones,” she added, pointing out that between 20 to 30 departments in the city also featured women in major positions of power.

“Phoenix is very progressive and they feel that the leadership team of the city should mirror the community,” explained Kalkbrenner. “So if you look at the diverse community that we have, we have an extremely diverse workforce.”

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton was effusive in his praise of his new department chiefs, noting that the two women were “by far the most qualified and respected candidates.”

“Anybody can rise to the very top of the organization and that’s just not talk,” said Stanton. “In Phoenix, we walk the walk.”

Watch Couric’s report on the two remarkable women below and see the other parts of the report here and here.

Read the full story at Yahoo News.


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