KCPD Memorial   Lest We Forget
Police Officer
Clyde William Harrison
End of Watch: Thursday, December 20, 1951
Age: 43
DOB: March 18, 1906
Tour of Duty: 9 years
Badge #:
Cause of death: Gunfire
Suspect information: At large
On December 20, 1951 at 10:40 pm, Officers Clyde W. Harrison, 43, and Richard J. Staab, 37,were attempting to stop a car that had just made an illegal left turn, at Truman and Oak. The officers pulled abreast the vehicle and Officer Staab ordered the two male occupants to pull to the side of the road when the men in the car fired on them. Officer Harrison was mortally wounded, dying on the way to the hospital from a gunshot wound to the left temple. Officer Staab injured, wounded in the shoulder during the incident was treated and released at the hospital. Detectives discovered the abandoned suspect vehicle with bullet holes in the right passenger door window, 45 minutes after the shooting at 20th and Walnut Streets with footprints of two men leading away from the car in the snow. The car bore Michigan license plates. Detroit police suspected the vehicle might be associated with a suspect wanted for a double murder in Michigan. A cab driver contacted during the investigation advised police that he had picked up two men near the location where the car was abandoned and transported the men, who were unfamiliar with the area, to a hotel near 12th and Baltimore. A $1000 reward was offered for the men's arrest. Perry Nelson Smith was arrested and confessed to the shooting the same month on Christmas eve.

Officer Harrison joined the Kansas City Police Department on October 8, 1942, serving a total of 9 years, and had worked on the crime prevention patrol for two years. Officer Harrison was survived by his wife, Evelyn Harrison, and two children. Interment was at Floral Hills Cemetery.


Article by Brent Marchant