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KCPD Chief Rick Smith addresses Board of Police Commissioners for final time

Rick Smith
Posted at 4:13 PM, Apr 19, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After 34 years with the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department, Chief of Police Rick Smith is retiring on Friday.

As he retires, Smith believes the number one thing the police department needs is support from the community and the board.

"I appreciate what they do everyday and I wish the community could see as we see them — as trying to be a positive aspect in this community," Smith said.

As he addressed the Board of Police Commissioners for the last time, Smith thanked his family, the board and the department for their support and the board then addressed the chief.

"We wish you well in retirement," KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said. "I hope you know that no matter the rhetoric, no matter what happens, I think most people appreciate the fact that you keep coming to work and serving the people of Kansas City even on tough days."

In his final comments to the board, Smith choked up while addressing his department members.

"We have a challenge here and the challenge is, these officers here want to feel supported in what they do," Smith said.

As a new police chief will soon take over, one issue that remains is staffing.

From the recruiting need of officers to filling 20 dispatcher vacancies, the department is looking to hire but Smith said it's not easy.

"It's challenging. It's a challenging time for policing. I know many people who are very dedicated to the cause and are going to finish out their careers," Smith said. "I know other people are questioning about why they're here and why they're in uniform and that's not just here in Kansas City, that's across the nation."

As Smith retires after more than three decades of service, he said KCPD is in good hands and on the right track.

"I see relationships building, I see technology gaining, there's a lot of positive aspects that are coming along and I think that will make policing better for everybody," Smith said.