Wentzville (KSDK)--Do you remember what you wanted to do with your life when you were in second grade?
The police chief of Wentzville clearly recalls wanting to be a police officer.
And as Newschannel Five's Kay Quinn recently found out, the reaction of classmates may have played a big role in that dream becoming reality.
"We were all asked to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up and I drew a police officer and I was laughed at."
But Lisa Harrison is the one smiling now. Since January of 2012, she's served as police chief of Wentzville; one of only six women out of 500 municipalities in the state of Missouri to hold that job.
"Anybody that knows me knows that I don't back down from a challenge," says Chief Harrison. "It was almost a challenge when I drew that and kids laughed at me. It's like I'm going to prove you wrong and I'm going to do this. And I did."
She was born in Potosi to parents who were educators. She served as a Marine, started her law enforcement career in Florida, and earned a masters degree along the way.
One of her first accomplishments as chief: adding extra officers to the force, and protecting the hometown feel of a rapidly growing city.
"I encourage my officers to continue with that customer service and that hometown feel because that's why people come here," says Harrison.
But she's also added important crime fighting technology, and relies on social media.
"I love Facebook," says Chief Harrison. "Every day there's somebody that emails us."
Recently Chief Harrison was asked to take on an even bigger role here in Wentzville. When the city administrator died suddenly and unexpectedly she was asked to step in on an interim basis holding both the positive of chief and city administrator for a few days. She calls it all part of her commitment to public service in this town.
Just as important to the chief: her down time.
"I love my Harley."
And her two daughters. One still lives at home. Both know the sacrifices she's made and the realities they've all faced.
"Being a mom in police work is always a challenge, always has been a challenge," says Harrison. But we've gone through it the kids have understood that's what puts dinner on the table.
She's made other important changes.
Fostering a feeling of family among co-workers who've started putting up photos that include the simultaneous pregnancies of three Wentzville police officers this past Mother's Day. Then, there are the drawings of schoolchildren prominently displayed on the walls of the department.
We walk by drawings from school children that decorate the walls at the police station.
"This reminds me of your story, of you drawing the second grade picture," says Kay.
"It does," says Harrison. "I enjoy having them up. We keep them up usually until the next year when we get another batch of them."
A reminder for this female chief that dreams do come true, even ones laughed at in second-grade.