Print Prowess Produces Award For K.C. Officer


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.


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