Retiring police detective celebrated; son carries on tradition

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Grand Rapids Police Department said goodbye to one of its longtime detectives Thursday. FOX 17 first told you about GRPD Det. Leslie Smith on Wednesday after he got to work alongside his son, Officer Tyler Smith, who followed in his father's footsteps. It was the elder Smith's last night shift on duty.

Smith said the top two things he'll miss most are the people in the department and helping out the true victims. He said he's proud of his son and that he's working for a great department.

He joined the force 25 years ago and spent the first seven years as a patrol officer. Smith has been a detective for the past 18 years.

"Great cops. They really do care about the community, and all I can say, I've had a great career," Smith said.

"While I've been here, I've investigated numerous cases. I've arrested serial arsonists. I've arrested serial rapists. I've been involved in an awesome career, and I just appreciate the community and the people of Grand Rapids."

"[It's] been a long time coming I guess," son Tyler Smith said. "I grew up hearing his stories, you know. So he did a lot in his long career here, and I think he's excited about it and think he's ready to move on to some better things."

​The elder Smith said he's going to do investigation work for Spectrum Health security.

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