A.J. Smith grew up in Apalachicola, Florida. He worked for seven years as a deputy sheriff with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, rising to the rank of lieutenant before joining the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee where he was promoted to detective after several months.
In 1992, Smith joined the Division of State Fire Marshal, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigation. In this capacity, Smith was one of only 50 investigators statewide specially trained to assist local fire and law enforcement authorities in complex arson cases. He was promoted to lieutenant over special operations, where he oversaw multi-jurisdictional arson cases and managed the training unit.
In 1999, Smith was appointed Chief of Law Enforcement for the Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT). After 25 years of law enforcement service, Smith retired in 2005 to begin work as an independent consultant. His services specialize in building relationships between private entities and sheriffs, police chiefs, fire chiefs, and government officials. Since his retirement in 2005 Smith maintained his law enforcement certification at the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office. In 2009 Smith left the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and was appointed a Captain with the Wakulla County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith holds a bachelors degree in public administration from Barry University. He is a member of the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, the National Sheriffs Association, the International Police Chiefs Association, the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association, Georgia Sheriff’s Association, Florida SWAT Association and the National Tactical Officers Association and is a certified (CJSTC and NRA) law enforcement instructor, and is past President of the State Law Enforcement Chief’s Association.
An active member of the community, Smith founded the non-profit organization Cops for Kids. Smith also serves on the board of directors of the Tallahassee Police Athletic League, Big Bend Hospice, Franklin County Advisory Board, Frenchtown Outreach, and was past Chairman of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Big Bend. Smith is also a member of Tallahassee’s Committee of 99. During December for the last three years Smith as served as program coordinator, (volunteer position) with the Catholic Charities, Christmas Connection.
In his spare time Smith enjoys, fishing, photography and other outdoor activities.