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Press Release

Birmingham’s New Police Chief Joins U.S. Attorney’s Crime-Fighting Task Forces

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Alabama

BIRMINGHAM – New Birmingham Police Chief Patrick D. Smith met today with two task forces formed this spring through the U.S. Attorney’s Office to combat violent crime and improve police-community relations.


“Chief Smith’s presence is already felt on the task forces,” said U.S. Attorney Jay Town. “His wealth of experience in both reducing violent crime and expanding community outreach and prevention efforts brings great promise to the City of Birmingham and the future of crime-fighting in our city.”


“The task forces are an extra benefit to the greater Birmingham communities as a whole,’’ Smith said. “Whenever you can combine the individual talents of each law enforcement agency represented, and to have them work cohesively together on one common goal, it’s a great day for the City. This is a prime example of leadership and teamwork at its highest level,’’ the chief said. “I’m excited to continue to develop the additional partnerships necessary to help resolve crime in and around the City of Birmingham.”


Smith began work June 25 as Birmingham’s police chief, following a nationwide search to fill the post. He was officially sworn in on July 27.


Smith, a Tuscaloosa native and veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, was a commander with the Los Angeles Police Department before accepting the chief’s job in Birmingham. He served 28 years with the LAPD, working his way up through the ranks as a patrol officer, police field training officer and instructor, sergeant, lieutenant, captain, and, since 2015, a police commander.


The LAPD has 10,000 sworn staff, 3,500 civilians and operates with a budget of $1.4 billion.

Smith has focused his career on crime reduction strategies and building public trust, including police training, reviewing critical use of force incidents and developing policy for best practices in policing.


In April, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, working with Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, launched the Birmingham Public Safety Task Force to focus on reducing homicides and other violent crime in the Birmingham metro area. Along with the Birmingham Police Department, other agencies represented on the public safety task force include the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County Drug Task Force, Housing Authority of Birmingham Division, Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office, Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Marshals Service, and Homeland Security Investigations.


The BPSTF incorporates principles of the mayor’s public safety initiative, Operation Step Up, and Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction strategy, along with the National Public Safety Partnership, to identify and work to apprehend the key offenders responsible for the majority of violent crime in hot spots across the Birmingham area.


In May, the U.S. Attorney’s Office launched the Birmingham Safe Neighborhoods Task Force to offer prevention and community outreach programs within the city and complement the law enforcement work of the Public Safety Task Force. A key function of this task force is to build and improve communication between the community and members of law enforcement.


The Safe Neighborhoods Task Force engages law enforcement, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and corporate citizens in a coordinated and collaborative process to incorporate crime prevention, education and inmate re-entry programs with enforcement efforts in an overall crime-reduction strategy.




Updated August 9, 2018