Phoenix police chief + Maricopa Cty Justice of the Peace = Crime-fighting power couplePosted: Updated:
She's the first woman to head up the Phoenix Police Department, but when Chief Jeri Williams gets home she is "lovey dovey, momma pants, or chief wifey."
"She will forget I don’t work for her sometimes," Williams' husband, Cody, said jokingly. "So, the way it comes out is more in a chief to subordinate. I have to tell her she’s not my chief wifey. 'You’re not the chief of me.'"
The couple has been married for 27 years. Cody is a former Phoenix councilman and now a Maricopa County Justice of the Peace. They met in 1985.
"My wife was sitting with three guys at a table," Cody recalled. "Nobody was on the dance floor. I saw her look over at me so I pointed for her to get on the dance floor."
"I was born and raised in church. Mom had us involved in church things. So, where do I meet my husband? A bar!" Jeri said.
When they met, Jeri was just getting into the Phoenix Police Academy. In fact, it was Cody who bought her her first gym membership so she could train for the academy.
"When we first started, we would run through the neighborhood and I would leave her in the dust," he said. "I swear to you by the time she graduated, I couldn’t keep up with her. I might have faked an injury."
Cody said he never worried about the now-chief's dangerous job. One of his favorite stories to tell about her happened when she was trying to make an arrest only days before their wedding.
"She came across a big suspect. He looked at her. She looked at him, and she said, 'I'm getting married and if you mess up my nails, we're going to have a problem,'" according to Cody.
Jeri said that's pretty much what happened.
"I said, 'Dude, here's the deal. I'm getting married in five days. So, I got my nails and hair done. If you don’t give me a black eye, we will not have any problems.' He kind of chuckled and by then my backup arrived. I got him in the back of the car."
Together they have two sons, Alan and Cody Jr.
But with one parent a judge and the other a police chief, one might wonder who the disciplinary was.
"There were days when they would run to me because they were scared of Mom. Then there were days they would run to Mom because they were scared of me," Cody said.
Now one of their sons, Alan, plays for the Phoenix Suns.
But they are proud of both of their boys, and they're not afraid to let that pride show when discussing either one of the,
"You don't want to be proud in an arrogant sense," Cody said. "But when you are impressed by who your children have become because of how they do what they do, then that takes pride to a whole different level."
That pride seems to pour out when they are discussing their family, their community or the love they share with each other.
"Love has to evolve," Cody explained. "What you loved about a human being 27 years ago, you might not love about that person anymore. But you've found other things to love."
"We are two stubborn people who are in this and took our vows seriously," Jeri said of their successful marriage. "Sometimes we don't necessarily agree. Sometimes we don't get along but there is always love, admiration and respect. It’s worth every second."
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