LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Hollie Chadwick’s life changed on September 11, 2001. That is when she says she decided law enforcement was her future.

“That was a very important day in our country and history,” said Chadwick. “It just changed my mindset.”

Chadwick says she grew up in Las Vegas, and after the terrorist attacks of September 11, she decided it was necessary to come home and serve her community. Her homecoming was not necessarily a smooth transition. Upon her return, she discovered that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department was in a hiring freeze. Chadwick said she had friends working for the Henderson Police Department. She did a ride along with officers and knew immediately that she had found a new home.

“I was hooked and got hired the next day,” said Chadwick.

That was more than two decades ago. She calls the following years a great experience. When asked if her goal was to become police chief, Chadwick said it was not. Instead, she aimed to become the most rounded officer she could be.

“My goal was to just let my career take me where it was supposed to go,” said Chadwick.

Still, when the position became available, Chadwick didn’t hesitate to apply.

“I felt I was ready to take on that responsibility for our department,” she said.

A department that is no stranger to turmoil, the last police chief in Henderson, Thedrick Andres, retired in February after two unions voted “no confidence” in the chief in 2022. A letter delivered by both unions highlighted a new “use of force” policy and a lack of training and communication from the chief.

Communication, Chadwick said, will be key in avoiding the type of tumult her predecessor faced.

“Everything comes back to listening to what’s going on, helping address those issues, and moving us forward in a positive way,” she said. “You can’t always agree with one side or the other. You can agree to disagree. But it’s important that you listen — actively listen — and come up with solutions.”

When asked about a lack of transparency that is alleged in the Henderson Police Department, Chadwick, for her part, says the department is fulfilling its duty.

“There’s no reason why we would be making things difficult, and moving forward, we will make sure that all the documentation and transparency is there for the community,” said Chadwick.

Chadwick flatly denied the allegation of sexism and racism in the police department.

“There were some obstacles I faced and some roadblocks,” she said. “I can tell you in 21 years, we have evolved dramatically, with our entire department and workforce, both professional and sworn. We value diversity, at every level, at every rank, at every demographic.”

Chadwick said her appointment as Henderson police chief moves the department in a positive direction.

“I understand what our community needs because I live here,” she said. “This is my home.”