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Nyla Harper is a main character on The Rookie. She is a Police Detective I who worked undercover for the past 4 years. After her undercover operation, she received a "Golden Ticket", which allows her to choose her assignment, and requested to be assigned to the Mid-Wilshire Division as a training officer. She was John Nolan's training officer following the departure of Talia Bishop from seasons 2-3. Harper's badge number is 56464. She is portrayed by Mekia Cox.


When we first meet Nyla Harper in "Warriors and Guardians", we learn that she used to be an undercover detective for four years. Sergeant Grey and the other officers are skeptical of her return to being a patrol officer, as she has a "golden ticket" in the LAPD and could have chosen anywhere in the department to work. Grey privately confides in Nolan that he does not trust Harper, but says it "wasn't his call" to have her return to the force. At the end of the episode, we also learn that Harper is fighting for shared custody of her daughter, Lila, with her ex-husband Donovan.

In "Tough Love", it is revealed that Harper is employing a family lawyer, a fact that Nolan finds out later in the episode when he runs a search on the lawyer's name.

After Harper risks legal consequences by picking up her daughter from school during a nuclear missile scare, Nolan realizes that Lila is the reason for Harper's choice to return to patrol and that she's given up everything to be with her daughter again.

In "Clean Cut", Harper requests that Grey write an early annual evaluation for her because a court hearing is coming up regarding the custody of her daughter. At the end of the episode, Grey is impressed with Harper, and promises he will write a positive evaluation of her.

By the end of season 2, Harper has regained shared custody of her daughter and partially credits Nolan's support for this.

In season 3, Harper receives a formal reprimand for her actions supporting an unauthorized investigation into a dirty cop. Eventually, she starts preparing Officer Chen for a possible undercover assignment, but that doesn't appear to be a likely destination for Chen.

During the course of season 3, Harper begins dating again, with the father of her daughter's classmate and with the man who runs the community center she met in episode 1 of season 3.

In the first episode of season 4, "Life and Death", Harper assists in rescuing Detective Lopez from her captors in Guatemala, and her rookie, Nolan, is formally promoted to P2.

In "Five Minutes", she becomes T.O. for rookie Aaron Thorsen, whose past experience with murder has been all too personal.

In "A.C.H.", she goes trick-or-treating with her daughter and her ex-husband; at the end of the evening Nyla and Donovan apparently drink too much and end up in bed with each other the next morning. They agree that it was a mistake and Donovan admits that he wants to marry his girlfriend.

Nyla and James continue to build their relationship; in "End Game" James talks about "doing couple things", but when Nyla discovers she's six weeks pregnant and tells James, he fails to respond with anything but a shocked stare. Eventually they meet to talk about it and Nyla explains why having the baby is so important to her. James apologizes and they make up.



  • Harper is Urban Police Rifle certified and prefers to use her l rifle rather than a shotgun, unlike Tim and Angela.


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Cast Nathan FillionShawn AshmoreMekia CoxJenna DewanAlyssa DiazRichard T. JonesMelissa O'NeilEric WinterMercedes MasonAfton WilliamsonTitus Makin
Characters John NolanWesley EversNyla HarperBailey NuneAngela LopezWade GreyLucy ChenTim BradfordZoe AndersenTalia BishopJackson West
Recurring cast Mircea MonroeCurrie GrahamMichael BeachSarah ShahiHarold PerrineauAli LarterJasmine MathewsBrandon Routh • Dylan Conrique • Tru Valentino
Recurring characters Isabel BradfordBen McReePercy WestJessica RussoNick ArmstrongGrace SawyerRachel HallDoug StantonTamara ColinsAaron Thorsen
Seasons 12345