Upholding the Law

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“Upholding the Law,” Ensign, Apr. 1999, 68

Upholding the Law

As a young girl she grew up wanting to be a flight attendant or a schoolteacher, but in October 1998 Janice S. Strauss became the chief of police in Mesa, Arizona.

Sister Strauss is the first female police chief in Mesa’s 120-year history. The promotion makes her one of the top five female police chiefs in the United States. Serving in the Mesa Police Department since 1978, Sister Strauss was promoted through the ranks: officer, detective, master police officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and then captain. In 1994 she became Mesa’s first female assistant chief and served in that capacity until being named acting chief when the former chief retired. After a nationwide search, she was chosen as the new chief of police from among the 19 final candidates, including applicants from the Phoenix, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas police departments.

More important to Sister Strauss than her professional accomplishments, however, are her children and grandchildren. “My family is always number one,” she says. A single mother for nearly four years now, Sister Strauss says she has been fortunate in being able to manage her time to be with her children as much as possible. “I’ve really been blessed with great children,” she adds. “I couldn’t have done all this without them.”

Her three children are quick to return the compliment and congratulate their mother for her many accomplishments. All three say that Janice is a wonderful mother and now a wonderful grandmother to her two grandchildren.

In her free time, Sister Strauss loves to participate in sports. And she has been able to combine family and fun as she plays on a city-league softball team with her oldest daughter and son-in-law. In fact, every member of their team is a relative.

Sister Strauss currently serves as the Young Women Laurel adviser in the Alma Seventh Ward, Mesa Arizona West Stake.—Roxie Heussner, Gilbert, Arizona