A cursory search for information on San Bernardino County, California will inform you of its bankruptcy woes, but the area is rich in history thanks to the narratives of its residents: Shirley Harlan was the first female officer in the Redlands Police Department in 1956. She retired in 1989 from the San Bernardino county probation department and today she is a Girl Rising Officer.
“Being at the forefront of things has just been a part of my life experiences.”
Shirley, who has lived in San Bernardino since the 70s, received a lot of support from the community when she became a policewoman. Now she’s paying it forward by bringing Girl Rising to the city.
Harlan, 83, used her retirement funds to buy extra movie tickets and marketing materials. When asked what she would spend her money on if she wasn’t supporting Girl Rising, she mentions her healthcare but the topic of money is a moot point for Shirley. “I bought the tickets as a Mother’s Day gift to the city. Young people need role models.”
Judi Penman, the President of the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce, will lead a discussion at Shirley’s screening. Bomani Story, a member of the Girl Rising post-production team and former county resident, will also be in attendance. For Shirley Harlan, every officer is a leader.