For Kansas City patrol officer Greg Smith, the fingerprint hits have come off jewelry counters and computer keyboards, church doors and table tops. During his 15-year career, Smith has had 10 successful hits, counting only the ones since his supervisors started keeping tabs, the Kansas City Star says. “It does take a lot of patience,” Smith said, “I just try to process as best I can, just be diligent about it.”
Smith’s efforts recently identified suspects in a smash-and-grab robbery at an east Kansas City jewelry store and a burglary at a midtown church. This month, the department gave him a Meritorious Service Award.
His supervisor, Sgt. Daniel Gates, said of collecting prints, “You have to be very meticulous. It takes practice — it’s an art. It’s a part of the work that you have to consistently work on to improve.”
Smith, 41, said his success comes from experience, from knowing which surfaces — hard, polished, nonporous — produce the best prints.