Smith was the youngest of 13 children born to Jasper and Dorothy Smith, a foundry worker and Head Start teacher, respectively. He grew up attending First African Baptist Church and graduated from Tuscaloosa's Central High School. Afterward he spent seven years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including service in Japan and the Philippines. He completed his bachelor of science in business management, as well as a master of arts in organizational management from the University of Phoenix.
Smith joined the Los Angeles Police Department in 1990. He was promoted training officer in 1994, to field sergeant in 1998, to assistant watch commander in 2001, and to lieutenant and watch commander in 2006. In 2007 Smith was made officer-in-charge of the department's internal affairs section. He was promoted to captain and assigned as a patrol commanding officer in 2010 and to police commander for the 10,000 member force in 2015.
After the retirement of A. C. Roper, incoming Mayor of Birmingham Randall Woodfin launched a national search for a new police chief. Smith was selected over deputy chief Henry Irby and Malik Aziz of Dallas, Texas. Allen Treadaway was appointed to the new position of Assistant Chief.
Henry Irby (interim)
|Chief of Birmingham Police Department
June 25, 2018–present
- Edgemon, Erin (June 4, 2018) "Birmingham mayor names police chief after 5 month search." The Birmingham News
- Robinson, Carol (June 28, 2018) "10 questions with new Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith." The Birmingham News
- Wright, Barnett (June 28, 2018) "Patrick Smith takes command as Birmingham’s new police chief" The Birmingham Times