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Crime Analyst Honors Family’s Mexican Heritage Through Action

Publish Date 09/15/2023
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Pricila Portugal could remember voices. She could remember addresses too.

Remarkable feats, considering she talked with thousands upon thousands of people as a KCPD call taker over 11 years. Surely her talent might have a different use at KCPD?

“I’m now at Shoal Creek connecting dots,” Portugal, the crime analyst said.

As an analyst, Portugal investigates patterns. She supports detective work. A robbery, for example, occurs, and Portugal takes a crack.

“Have there been more robberies throughout the city or nearby that have the same M.O.?,” Portugal explained. “How did they get there? I look at things outside of the box because the officers are in the middle of it, and I’m looking out further to help them.”

She’s also translated more than 200 cases for detectives. Of Mexican descent, Portugal is fluent in Spanish. Growing up near Myrtle and Smart Avenues, Spanish was her only language until she entered school. It’s also what brought her to KCPD.

Nearly 12 years ago, Portugal was a bilingual interviewer for a life insurance company. A friend of the family told her KCPD was needing bilingual call takers. When Portugal joined, Spanish speakers benefitted, but Portugal said she did too.

“Call taking teaches you to listen, communicate, have peace of mind, to be kind,” Portugal explained. “It helped me be a better person outside of the department. “

It’s been almost a year since Portugal moved into her analyst role at Shoal Creek Division. When she helps solve a crime, there’s pride in improving the quality of life for those affected. Her pride is easily on display.

From Jalisco, Mexico, her parents moved to Kansas City for opportunity. She’s seized it at KCPD, benefitting many.

“In my parents honor, I try to be a good, honest, trustworthy, hardworking person,” said Portugal. “I take advantage of every opportunity to learn, listen, help, be kind, and contribute to making KCMO a better place.”