Meet the Williams family: Proving when you put your mind to it, you can achieve it

- They're a power family for sure. Jeri Williams, the first woman to become Chief of Police for the city of Phoenix; Cody Williams, her husband, a former councilman and now a Justice of the Peace in Phoenix; and their son Alan, a newly signed center for the Phoenix Suns.

They're all finally back in their hometown, just in time for the holidays and it's when the Williams family suits up for work that you realize their power and influence.

This is a family that proves to the rest of us when you put your mind to it, you can achieve it.

For Chief Williams, it seems like a dream come true. After five years away running the Oxnard, California Police Department, she is thrilled to be back home, landing her dream job, heading up the Phoenix Police Department. Just as her son realizes his dream to play in the NBA for the Phoenix Suns.

How does that feel to be back in the city where you raised your kids?

"It's the biggest blessing. Every day, I marvel at the response and reception I get from people in the community. When I'm at a Suns game, I have family with me, so I'm just really blessed and fortunate," she said.

Almost all of the pieces are in place. Cody Jr. is away at college.

"He's probably, out of all of us, the most creative," said Cody Sr. "Definitely," added Jeri.

A former city councilman, current Justice of the Peace, Cody Williams Sr. couldn't be happier.

"Today, I get a tremendous amount of pride to be known as Jeri's husband or Alan's father. There was a day they were known as Cody's wife and Cody's son," he said. "We've been working together as father son coach player since he was 7 years old."

And Alan turned that into a career. He has now mental and physical strength, combined with a great work ethic and a desire to have fun, which makes him a success on the court.

"I think the way they raised me has played into it a lot. What they do is great and is important for the community, but who they are is why I am who I am today. They're great people. People of faith, people who work so hard throughout their whole life to provide for my brother and me. A life we are so blessed to be able to have," said Alan.

At every game, Alan looks up to his parents in the stands.

"After the National Anthem, say a prayer, I touch my chest, they touch their chest," he said.

The National Anthem has become so center, especially this year. Colin Kaepernick, the protests -- has he ever been tempted to sit or protest during the anthem?

Alan replied, "I wouldn't say tempted. I believe the National Anthem stands for the good in the country."

Jeri added, "I feel it would be disrespectful to not stand and honor the flag of our nation. Whether Alan chooses to stand or kneel, that's Alan's choice, but do know that anything he chooses to do or not do could impact one and other."

After the National Anthem at a recent Suns game, Chief Willliams was recognized at center court.

"I didn't know what to expect... To see people stand up for a standing ovation at an NBA game for a police officer. So I stood up and said, okay, embrace the moment, take a deep breath."

"It was one of the coolest things ever got to see because they not only saw her as a chief of police, but as a member of the community. It showed how great of fans we have here in Phoenix. A police officer in certain places wouldn't have gotten that same reception," said Alan.

Jeri's profession has left a definite imprint on Alan. He actively seeks out officers who are working the game to thank them. 

"Everywhere I go, if I see one, I thank them, ask how they're doing. Because they're people.. I think people forget that. Because they see a uniform, so they only see an officer. But in reality, they're people in that position and they make human decisions on a daily basis."

Even at a time when use of force by police is questioned by many across the country, it's a conversation Jeri welcomes.

"I don't shy away from differing opinions. I think that's healthy and what makes us great as Americans. And I look forward to my work with the city and police department and engaging people who may not agree with what I think," she said.
 
"It's something that needs to be addressed by both sides to move forward," added Alan.
 
This family loves a good conversation, even if it involves difficult topics.
 
"It's really great to get a perspective. I've been in law enforcement for 28 years. I don't think like he does, so it's great to bounce things off him," said Jeri.
 
To grow up in Phoenix, raise her family here and now have a chance to serve the people of this city is a responsibility Jeri does not take lightly.
 
"I represent hope and accomplishment. I represent whatever you set your mind to you can do and I think that's what our family represents. When you look at Alan, when you look at Cody and little Cody; to whom much is given, much is required.  And I've learned to embrace that and accept that and I'm working on being comfortable with it."
 
Alan is a great ambassador for Arizona and the Suns, a good person. Every night after the game, whether he played or not, he stops to meet fans and sign autographs outside the arena. Top notch.

 


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