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BROADVIEW, Ill. (CBS) — Women are taking the lead in a family of first responders in Broadview.
A mother and daughter are protecting their west suburban town as the fire chief and a police officer. And as CBS 2’s Marissa Perlman reported Thursday night, they are trailblazing a path for more females to get on the force.
Tricia Scalise is now officially a police officer in her hometown of Broadview. She got a huge round of applause as her parents beamed behind her with pride.
“She’s fulfilling her dreams, and I get to stand there and watch it happen,” said her mom, Tracy Kenny.
Kenny is the village’s first female fire chief. In addition, Scalise’s dad, David, works for the Department of Public Works.
Service to the village is a family business, you could say. Meanwhile, check out the Broadview Village Board – all women fill the seats.
“History in Broadview – so thankful, and I’m grateful that you guys are on our team,” Broadview Mayor Katrina Thompson told the board at a recent meeting.
Part of the appeal for Scalise is getting to work with mom. But at the end of the day, Chief Kenny is still mom first to Officer Scalise.
And the friendly rivalry between Broadview police and fire is strong in the family house.
“Every time I walked into the fire department, they’d say, ‘You checked the wrong box,'” Scalise said.
Scalise said she has known she wanted to be a police officer since she was “really little.”
“That’s all I ever wanted to do,” she said. “I never thought about anything else.”
Scalise is now one of four female officers with the department – and for the first time, women outnumber men on her shift.
But at the village fire department, the fire chief is the only woman on the force – and she is calling for more women to join up.
“I think it’s about showing people – and showing these young women that anything’s possible,” Kenny said.
Both Officer Scalise and Chief Kenny say getting where they are hasn’t been easy.
“You feel like you have to prove yourself, and there’s much more to be proven,” Scalise said.
“Fear of failure in front of men is the hardest thing in this job,” added Kenny.
But Kenny – one of only four female fire chiefs in Illinois – wants future female first responders to know not to have that fear.
“If you have an interest in something, and you have just a doubt because you’re a female, find another female in that job,” she said.
Her newly-appointed police officer daughter agrees.
“Do it. Follow your dreams,” Scalise said. “Just drive right into it.”