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Beverly Harvard became a police officer after taking on a $100 bet from her husband and a friend who thought she wouldn’t cut it. Not only did she complete the course to become an officer for the Atlanta Police Department, she went on to become the first Black female police chief for the force as well.

Harvard, a 1972 graduate of Morris Brown College with a degree in sociology, met her husband and friend’s challenge in 1973 and entered the academy. While she had no idea what she’d be up against, she managed to graduate and worked her way up in the ranks. Her husband was so worried about her night assignments, he would routinely follow her around to make certain she was safe.

After earning the respect of her peers, Harvard juggled police work, family life and graduate school, earning her master’s in 1980 from Georgia State University.

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