Tempe police officer to compete in Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona

Sep 22, 2023, 4:00 PM

PHOENIX — A Tempe police officer will trade in her badge for a crown next week when she competes in the Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona.

Candace Kanavel will try to win Miss USA at the annual event, which is being held in Reno, Nevada, on Friday.

Kanavel will be the first police officer to walk the pageant runway.

“Pageants have helped me become the officer I am today,” Kanavel said in a press release. “They’ve taught me leadership skills, communication skills and teamwork. All of that directly applies to what I’m doing as a police officer.”

Kanavel isn’t just a run-of-the-mill police officer, either. She is a SWAT hostage negotiator and is trained in crisis intervention.

She said her two roles are fairly similar, even if they don’t seem so on the surface.

“When I’m a police officer, I’m serving the community,” Kanavel said. “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.”

Kanavel also does work with a movement she initiated called Yes She CAN.

The idea behind it is to motivate and empower women to embrace their confidence and capability. Kanavel also wants women to consider careers in areas that used to be considered non-traditional.

Miss USA will air live on CW6 at 5 p.m.

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Tempe police officer to compete in Miss USA Pageant as Miss Arizona