Port Angeles Chief of Police Smith has over 36 years of diverse law enforcement experience. He has worked for the Port Angeles Police Department for over 8 years and the National Park Service for over 27 years. Chief Smith has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Montana State University and also graduated from the FBI National Academy in the 214th Session in 2003. He has and undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He was appointed interim Chief in March of 2016 and appointed as Chief in July 2016.
Before he came to the City as Deputy Police Chief in 2008 Chief Smith served as a Special Agent in Charge/ Branch Chief of Law Enforcement Services with the National Park Service (NPS) in their Intermountain Region. Chief Smith began his career as a Park Ranger and worked his way up through the ranks holding positions such as Special Agent, Special Agent-Lead Instructor, Supervisory Special Agent and Regional Special Agent in Charge. While in these positions Smith was responsible for command of the tactical teams, operation of a 911 public safety dispatch center, law enforcement records and training along with management of special agents assigned to five states. His law enforcement experience includes the full spectrum of police and emergency services including vehicle and boat patrol, traffic and DUI enforcement, criminal investigation, emergency medicine, technical rescue and structural fire rescue. His work assignments with the National Park Service included Yellowstone National Park, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Yosemite National Park and Grand Canyon National Park. He worked as a certified emergency paramedic through much of his career in the National Park Service.
Since coming to Port Angeles in 2008, Chief Smith has been instrumental in the promotion and implementation of several programs that have helped the Port Angeles Police Department progressively move forward in the world of policing. He played a major role in obtaining Stonegarden grants for implementing the mobile data project between local law enforcement agencies as well as increasing foot patrol in the downtown area. Smith collaborated with City staff and others to promote the wireless mesh network and use grant money to obtain computers and technology in all patrol vehicles. In addition, he applied and received a FEMA grant that allowed a state of the art security system along the waterfront to be installed. Smith has established interlocal agreements with law enforcement agencies such as the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, U.S. Border Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard. He has been the driving force behind cross commissioning officers with other local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.
Chief Smith oversaw the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) Accreditation process over the last five years, and with the assistance of others in the department, has met the accreditation standards making Port Angeles Police Department one of sixty law enforcement agencies in Washington State that is accredited. The Port Angeles Police Department is currently developing an outreach program directed at the homeless population and at those with opiate addiction. This involves formal partnerships with social workers from behavioral and mental health, public health, corrections and the health care providers. Since early 2015 the Port Angeles Police Department has been affiliated with PAARI (the Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative) and is actively working toward funding that will allow the Department to establish a police social worker position. An outgrowth of this effort was the “housing beat” foot patrol program. A PAPD officer and a social worker work a foot patrol assignment as a team and make contact with persons on the street in an effort to get them into social services (e.g. housing, treatment or medical services). The Department will add Fire Dept. EMS personnel and mental health outreach to this “housing beat” program in 2017.