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University of Arizona police hires 1st female chief

Paula Balafas is the University of Arizona’s newest police chief and the first woman to hold that position in the university’s history.

According to department spokesperson Officer Jesús Aguilar, Balafas brings more than 32 years of experience to the job.

“We’ve really tried to, you know, be representative of the community that we are serving, and so having our first female chief, I think, is going to go a long way to helping us connect better with our communities,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar says the department is taking part in a national “30 by 30” program, ensuring that women will make up at least 30 % of the UA force by 2030.

Athena Ankrah is an assistant producer for KJZZ's The Show.Ankrah graduated from Arizona State University in 2023 with a bachelor’s in journalism and a second degree in Chicano media and expressive culture.