Phoenix selects Jeri Williams as new Police Chief

A familiar face is heading back to Phoenix to lead the police department.

The City of Phoenix selected Jeri Williams as Police Chief. She's no stranger to the valley, she rose through the ranks to become an assistant chief here. Five years ago, she left to lead the Oxnard California Police Department.

"I will listen to your concerns, will will be your representative, will represent you. Because that is what I believe law enforcement is," said Jeri Williams.

Williams started as a patrol officer in 1988. She will now lead 4,000 employees of the department. During her interview for chief she said she had a goal to always return home.

"And I left home, I left the comforts of home to get that professional experience that I thought I needed to have to be the Phoenix Police chief," said Williams.

Williams will take over for Chief Joe Yahner who retires in October.

Community leader Channel Powe says Williams' experience with Phoenix PD and the community make her an ideal person to be the city's top cop.

"The time could not be better for her to be here. Again it's going to take someone who understands the department inside and out, and also someone who understands the community. Someone who grew up here, who has roots in the community," said Powe.

When Jeri Williams is sworn in she will join Phoenix Fire Department Chief Kara Kalkbrenner leading the top two public safety departments in Phoenix.

"To have us really shattering glass ceilings with having two women lead our first responders in the City of Phoenix is truly historic. It's an exciting time to be a Phoenician," said Powe.