Detective Howard F. Smith

Detective Howard F. Smith

Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, September 13, 1972

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Howard F. Smith

Detective Howard Smith succumbed to gunshot wounds received nine months earlier during a bank robbery while working a protection detail at the Mohawk Branch at 2026 Central Parkway in Cincinnati at 10:08 am.

Detective Smith was undercover as a teller when two armed men entered the bank and announced a hold-up. Detective Smith fired at one of the subjects but missed. One of the men shot him in the back and then twice in the head. The subjects fled without taking any money.

Detective Smith was transported to Cincinnati General Hospital where he remained in critical condition until succumbing to his wounds almost nine months later.

The suspects were apprehended and convicted for his murder. Both suspects were sentenced to death, but the sentences were commuted to life in prison, and they were both paroled in 2002.

Detective Smith was a United States Army World War II veteran and had served with the Cincinnati Police Department for almost 32 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 32 years
  • Badge D12
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, December 30, 1971
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Paroled in 2002


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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Detective Howard F. Smith of the Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio and the additional 81 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

September 13, 2023

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