On February 26, 1990, Interim Chief Harvette S. Smith began her career in law enforcement as a Clerk Typist with the North Miami Beach Police Department (NMBPD). As part of her dedicated work ethic, Interim Chief Smith quickly immersed herself in her quest to excel in law enforcement and became a Police Communications Officer (PCO) in 1993. Never one to decline the ability to lead, Interim Chief Smith quickly rose to PCO Lead Worker and later as Training Officer. After being in the dispatching environment for approximately five (5) years, Interim Chief Smith decided to pursue her goal of becoming a police officer and decided to attend the Police Academy, where she graduated in December 1998.
In the full capacity of her goal as a police officer, Interim Chief Smith was sworn in by the same police department where she had only previously begun as a typist. Interim Chief Smith worked in the Uniform Patrol Division as a road patrol officer, where her zeal for law enforcement increased as she conducted her daily duties. In 2001, Interim Chief Smith began her long and respected relationship with compliance and accreditation – one of the most challenging aspects of any organization. Her attention to detail was poignant in her new role as officer of the NMBPD Accreditation Unit. Led by Retired Chief William “Bill” Berger; she and her team worked diligently to put the NMBPD on the map as the first law enforcement agency in Miami-Dade County to receive national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
In addition, through her hard work, the NMBPD was recognized as the first law enforcement agency to receive “Excelsior” status from the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation - not once or twice, but three times in a row! Interim Chief Smith is constantly recommended by various law enforcement agencies to help with their respective mock assessments as part of her reputation. On February 20, 2018, Interim Chief Smith was promoted to the rank of Police Sergeant in the Administrative Division, where she oversaw the Accreditation Unit, Property and Evidence Unit, and the Grant Administration Unit.
Interim Chief Smith continued her duties as an integral part of the NMBPD, where after 32 years of service, dedication, and hard work, she made departmental history and became the first African American female to be promoted to her current position as Interim Chief on March 4, 2022. Interim Chief Smith now leads an agency of over 100 officers and support staff and continues her legacy that anything is possible. Interim Chief Smith looks forward to moving the NMBPD forward and maintaining its Excelsior status.
Interim Chief Smith is a graduate of Miami Central Senior High School and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Union Institute and University. She is married to NMBPD Retired Sergeant Tyrell Smith and has four children and nine grandchildren.