Long before she would become Orlando's first female Chief of Police, Val Butler Demings learned from her parents about the American Dream. Seven children in a small wood-framed house in Jacksonville. Her parents worked as a maid, a janitor, landscaper, and orange picker — as many jobs as it took to get by. They taught her, "Have faith." and "Never tire of doing good."
She took her first job at 14 as a dishwasher. Became the first in her family to go to college. Worked to protect children in broken homes as a social worker and, later, became a police officer. It was a particularly tough path for a Black, American woman in the 80’s. She quickly gained a reputation for challenging conventional thinking and addressing the toughest parts of the city. Chief Demings served 27 years and in 2007, made history becoming the city’s first female Chief of Police. With the financial crisis squeezing budgets, she did more with less, reducing violent crime by 40%.
In 2016, Chief Demings was elected to Congress in Florida's 10th District, swiftly gaining a reputation as a tireless champion for public safety, civil rights, and the American Dream. She served, with widespread acclaim, as an impeachment manager during the impeachment trial of President Trump.
Val and her husband Jerry have three children and five grandchildren and she loves to ride her Harley-Davidson. She will never tire of doing good and will never give up on the promise of what America could be.