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First Black, female Port St Lucie Police Department officer retires after 29 years

Sylvia Harris honored for positive impact on lives during career
Port St. Lucie Officer Sylvia Harris
Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 18:35:29-05

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The Port St. Lucie Police Department is honoring a trailblazing officer retiring after 29 years of service Friday.

Officer Sylvia Harris made history when she was hired in 1991 as the first Black female officer at the Port St Lucie Police Department.

Sgt. Keith Boham said she is known for her uplifting smile and caring personality, making a positive impact on many people's lives during her career with the city.

Harris said her favorite assignment as an officer was being a school resource officer at Port St Lucie Elementary and Bayshore Elementary.

She also enjoyed being a part of the Shop-with-a-Cop events, providing toys to children in need.

"Officer Harris' best memory was the day she was sworn in and took the oath to protect and serve, supported by her family in attendance," according to Sgt. Keith Boham.

Harris said what she will miss most about her job is the "great officers and serving the awesome citizens of Port St Lucie."

"We have females, but we need more. We need more African American female sergeants," Harris said.

Not only has she been a pivotal part of the community, but Harris also has vocal talents, singing the national anthem to honor Port St. Lucie police veterans.

Even though Friday is her last shift on the police force, the department said they know her service to the community will continue after retirement.

Port St. Lucie Officer Sylvia Harris
Port St. Lucie Officer Sylvia Harris (left) hugs a co-worker Feb. 5, 2021, on her final day with the department after 29 years of service.

"I grew as a person. I learned to love all people, and they love me back in return. I got here, and I made it. I did not stop," Harris said.

She leaves behind a pathway for other women to follow.

"I am here for a reason. I was here for a while. Now it's time for me to take care of me," Harris said.