The City of Miami Beach witnesses a historical moment when Capt. Harvette Smith grabs the post of Interim Chief Officer of North Miami Beach Police.

After the sudden resignation of Richard Rand from the post of the chief officer, she became the first Black woman to lead the police department in the city’s 96 years of history. 

The NMBPD announced Smith’s historical leadership role on their Facebook account: 

Chief Smith makes groundbreaking history as she becomes not only the first African-American to lead the NMBPD but also the first African-American woman to do so. This historical moment is a great month for this to occur, especially since March is Women’s History Month.” 

Richard Rand, 25 year police veteran, resigned for the second time from his post. Earlier in November, he reversed his decision of resignation within 48 hours after consulting with City Manager Arthur Duke Sorey III and other city officials. The city credits Rand for lowering the crime rate and making the city safer for its people.

The city’s press release cited July 5, when the resignation of Rand will be enacted. But the department wholeheartedly celebrated the historical appointment of Smith.

Smith has spent years in the department of police with persistence. She started her journey as a clerk typist in 1990. Soon after, she excelled in law enforcement and became a police communications officer. The quest didn’t end for her, and she was elevated to the position of Training Officer. The year 1998 became a life-changing year for Smith when she graduated from the police academy and began her journey towards glory. 

Smith spent the initial years of her policing career as a patrol officer, and then she was promoted to the North Miami Beach Accreditation Unit. She helped the department become the first nationally accredited police department in the country. 

In 2018, Smith was promoted to Sargent. Following up in January 2021, she had Captain before her name. Now, she is making history after being appointed as the first Black Chief Officer of the North Miami Beach Police department. As Chief, she will supervise 165 law enforcement officers and other department personnel.