Steven Smith

Steven Smith

Senior Fellow

Center for Urban Renewal

Fellow in Urban Studies
Center for Urban Renewal

Steven Smith is a fellow in urban studies at the Pacific Research Institute’s Center for Urban Renewal, focusing on criminal justice policy in California.

He is a recognized leader in education, training, law enforcement, and peacekeeping operations, with over 20 years of experience in domestic and international policing and investigations. His work has been published in numerous outlets, including the New York Times.

He began his career as a police officer with the Scotts Valley Police Department, conducting criminal investigations, serving as a department juvenile officer, managing juvenile diversion programs, and conducting community crime prevention programs.

Later, he served as an inspector with the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s office, conducting criminal case investigations and trial preparation, serving as the office public information officer for many different cases, and serving as the office representative on the county sexual assault and domestic violence task forces.

For 14 years, Smith served as a lead instructor in the Administration of Justice program at Gavilan College in Gilroy, instructing students for future criminal justice employment in topics including community policing, investigations, corrections, evidence, juvenile justice, criminal procedures, criminal law, probation and parole, and narcotics.

Later, he served as Assistant Commandant/Dean of Students at California State University, Maritime Academy in Vallejo, overseeing the personal and professional development of cadets, and managing administration, training, and discipline.

His international law enforcement and security work has included serving as station commander for the United Nations mission to Bosnia at the close of the Bosnian war, supervising 25 officers from 11 countries and conducting human rights and war crimes investigations. He has also served with the United States Security Coordinator for Palestine training law enforcement in the Palestinian Authority, designed curriculum for the Serbian National Police Training Center, and has been an elections observer with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Bosnia, North Macedonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Albania, and Ukraine.

In addition to his work at PRI, Smith is also an independent security consultant with multiple private sector clients. He is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento.