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Chief Smith’s Biography
On February 26, 1990, 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, 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, Chief Smith quickly rose to PCO Lead Worker and later as Training Officer. After being in the dispatching environment for approximately five (5) years, 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, Chief Smith was sworn in by the same police department where she had only previously begun as a typist. 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, 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 (CALEA), Inc.
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, (CFA) - not once, twice, or thrice, but an astonishing four times in a row! Chief Smith is constantly recommended by various law enforcement agencies to assist with their respective mock assessments as part of her reputation. On February 20, 2018, 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. Chief Smith continued to make strides within the department and was then promoted to Police Captain on January 21, 2021, where she oversaw the Accreditation Unit, Communications Unit, Records Unit, Property and Evidence Unit and Grants Administration Unit.
As an integral part of the NMBPD and after 33 years of service, dedication, and hard work, Chief Smith made departmental history and became the first African American female to be promoted to her current position as Police Chief on July 7, 2022. Chief Smith now leads an agency of over 100 officers and support staff and continues her legacy that anything is possible. Chief Smith looks forward to moving the NMBPD forward and maintaining its Excelsior status.
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 also attended the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) LEEDA Leadership Trilogy course. She is an active member of Florida Police Chief’s Association (FPCA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, Nation Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Miami Dade County Association of Chief’s of Police (MDCACP), and National Forum for Black Public Administrators (NFBPA)