AJ Smith Chosen as FDSA Director of Operations
The Florida Deputy Sheriffs Association (FDSA) announced the appointment of law-enforcement veteran AJ Smith as Director of Operations for the association July 20, 2010. Smith was selected for the position by the board of directors based on his extensive and impressive experience within multiple facets of law enforcement. Smith will lead the association in garnering members from the more than 50,000 employees, volunteers and retirees of Sheriffs’ offices the FDSA represents across the state. Santa Rosa County Sheriff Wendell Hall, chairman of the FDSA Board, expressed enthusiasm about the appointment. He said he looked forward to working with Smith to increase FDSA membership and service capacity, thus allowing the association to become a major voice representing the law-enforcement community in Florida.
Smith, born in Apalachicola, began his law-enforcement career as a Deputy Sheriff with the Franklin County Sheriff's office. He later transferred to the Leon County Sheriff’s office and was quickly promoted to detective. During his tenure as an officer, Smith gained experience working in street crimes, vice investigations and robbery and narcotics trafficking. 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). He managed 21 field offices and more than 200 law enforcement and civilian employees.
After 25 years of service, Smith retired in 2005 to become an independent consultant while maintaining his law-enforcement certification. In Franklin County, Smith organized the first SWAT team for the agency and managed the reserve deputy program. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from Barry University. He is a member of multiple organizations, including the Florida Sheriffs Association, the Florida Police Chiefs Association and Florida SWAT Association. He is also past president of the State Law Enforcement Chief’s Association.
As an active member of the community, Smith has also been involved with a number of charitable organizations such as Big Bend Hospice and Frenchtown Outreach. He is the founder of the nonprofit Cops for Kids and served as Chairman of the Boys and Girls Club of the Big Bend.
The Florida Deputy Sheriffs Association was created in 2008 from the Florida Sheriffs Association Law-Enforcement Membership as a forum for the law enforcement, corrections and support personnel of the Florida Sheriffs. Membership is available to the more than 50,000 staff, volunteers and retirees of the Sheriffs’ offices throughout Florida. The association provides insurance, legal benefits and service to deputies and staff that may not otherwise be available to Sheriff’s Office personnel. The association was established by Sheriffs to provide comprehensive benefits and a professional network, as well as camaraderie and a communications forum for Sheriffs' Office staff.