Over the past year and a half, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has had the great opportunity to partner with City of Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams. We’ve proudly welcomed her into our community and into our Chamber.
Shortly after she was named Phoenix’s first female police chief, we hosted her and Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone as guests at an exclusive premier event. During this event, Chief Williams made a surprise announcement: she needed our help to build coalition of business leaders to begin a partnership with local law enforcement. With encouragement from our Board of Directors—including the late David Bruno—the Chamber stepped up to the plate and we took a leading role in building a coalition.
In response, the Chamber leadership team and I formed the Blue Business Council. Through this, the Chamber has hosted bi-monthly meetings with business leaders from across all industries and our excellent City of Phoenix public safety personnel.
With our partnership, business leaders attended the police academy experience and learned about the training our officers go through to keep our communities safe. Let me be the first to share with you that the men and women who serve our communities receive extensive and rigorous training that directly translates into our safety.
As we’ve continued to work with Chief Williams, it’s been clear that this partnership between business leaders and public safety leaders matters. It allows us to keep our employees informed and feeling safe, in the midst of the chaos we see on the news in other cities.
You’ve probably noticed that Phoenix has not been featured in the 24-hour news cycle as a city in disarray following major political events. That’s no accident. That is the result of Chief William’s collaborative nature and our leaders working to keep our community safe.
I’m so proud of the work that the leadership role the Chamber team has taken in forming the Blue Business Council, and I want to invite you to learn about our community first-hand from Chief Williams.
Next week the Chamber is hosting a forum featuring community leaders and public officials as they share insight into the links between key community entities, and how they are working together to maintain a strong and safe Arizona.
I hope that you will join us on Tues., April 17 at our Valley Voices event featuring Chief Williams, and I hope that you will take what you learn from this event and carry it forward into your community. Together, we can foster community engagement that contributes to a safer, brighter and more vibrant Phoenix.