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Bisa French was a single mother who became a cop at age 22. After years of struggling to provide her son with a good life, she is now the first African-American woman captain in the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, California and the youngest captain of any gender or ethnicity. On June 2, the 37-year-old took her position at the police department.

French’s life has changed since she first started in the force. She is now married to a police sergeant in Oakland and a mother of three children.

French is of African-American and Puerto Rican heritage. She attributes her work ethic to her parents. Her father, a carpenter, never missed a day of work. French was attending Napa Community College when she discovered she was pregnant. A recent high school graduate, French gave birth to her son and a week later returned to school for her final exams.

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