KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chief of KC Police Department Rick Smith received the Clarence M. Kelley Award earlier this month at the Kansas City Metropolitan Crime Commission’s 72nd annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Luncheon.
The American Society for Industrial Security Clarence M. Kelley award has been presented annually since 1980 to recognize an “outstanding law enforcement administrator in the metropolitan area”.
Clarence Kelley was highly respected for his leadership and integrity with the Kansas City, Missouri police and continued his dedication to public service as the second Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Smith has implemented multiple programs to aid in building trust between the Police Department and the community since becoming Chief in August of 2017. He made the decision to assign social workers to all six Patrol Division Stations, making KCPD the first police department in the nation with such a program. Now, officers are able to dig into the root causes of certain 911 calls and bring support to those in need with the assistance of a social worker, instead of only being able to address the issues on the surface.
Smith also reinstated the Community Interaction Officers (CIO) position to help further a healthy relationship with the community and has assigned two CIOs to each division station. Since 2018, the CIOs have attended almost 3,000 community meetings and events and provided close to 400 training engagements with community members. During the pandemic, the department’s CIO officers and social workers were among those who helped provide over 500,000 meals to those in need in Kansas City.
Among other programs, Chief Smith also oversaw the implementation of the EZ Child ID System after overwhelming concerns from of the community about human trafficking. The system is described as “the nation’s most comprehensive digital fingerprinting child identification system” and has proven useful for other departments in numerous lost child cases across the country.
KCPD did not have proper funding for the program at the time, so Chief Smith directed staff to the appropriate resources and attracted a donation to meet the program’s needs. KCPD now has three EZ Child ID Systems and estimates they have served roughly 250 children and their guardians so far.
“There is no other person I would rather be serving under, in this time and season, than Chief Rick Smith,” CIO Officer Jason Cooley told The Heartlander. “He has the strength, drive and passion to keep our Department moving in the right direction through multiple storms that we have encountered. It has been my utmost honor to be KCPD under his leadership.”