Being a female police chief remains a rare occurrence throughout America. Because this is typically a male dominated field, few venture to pursue this goal. Those women who do make it to the top have not had it easy, and normally have some stories to tell. Deanna Cantrell, the new police chief of San Luis Obispo, has some experiences of her own to share.
Chief Cantrell said she did not always self identify as a feminist consciously. It was not talked about as openly as it is now while she was growing up and progressing in her career. Looking back, though, she realizes now she has always identified with feminist ideals.
Deanna started her police work in the city of Mesa, Arizona. Through countless promotions and endless hours of work put in at each level of progression, Cantrell ended her time in Mesa as Assistant Police Chief. From here, Cantrell was offered the position of Police Chief in San Luis Obispo after a long yet worthwhile interview process.
To hold the confidence and perseverance it takes to push through the ranks in this line of work as a woman, one must have a driving force to keep going. Cantrell considers herself a feminist, and believes all women should have this mindset. She insists on the empowerment of young women and raising them to believe they are capable of any career a man can have. Cantrell even has an email group she writes to weekly with inspiring videos and articles about the power and potential of women. This group includes fellow females in the police force as well as empowered or not-so-empowered women she has met throughout her career.
Picture Attribution: San Luis Obispo Police Department