Mr. Smoot is Of Counsel to Wolf Popper. He currently serves as Director and Chief Counsel for the Police Benevolent & Protective Association of Illinois (“PB&PA”) and the Police Benevolent Labor Committee (“PBLC”). In those capacities he is responsible for administering the provision of legal services for over 7,500 legal defense plan participants. As the organizations’ primary legislative advocate, Mr. Smoot writes legislation, testifies before legislative bodies, and speaks often regarding police related topics such as, Public Employment Labor Law, Pension & Benefits Law, Section 1983 Civil Rights Litigation, and Police Use of Force.
He also currently serves as a member of the Cleveland and Baltimore City Police Departments' consent decree monitoring teams and is a Principal Consultant with 21st Century Policing, LLC. Mr. Smoot also serves as an Area Vice President of the National Association of Police Organizations (“NAPO”), a national law enforcement advocacy group representing over 250,000 police officers. He has served on the Advisory Committee for the National Law Enforcement Officers' Rights Center in Washington, D.C. since 1996.
Mr. Smoot was a Member of the Executive Session on Policing and Public Safety at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University 2008-2014. He also holds several Certificates in Police Union Leadership from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Advisory Committee at the Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Annual Illinois Public Sector Labor Relations Law Program. He also serves on the Use of Force Advisory Committee, the Police Pursuit Advisory Committee, the Racial Profiling Advisory Committee, and the Task Force on Police Integrity for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board. On November 13, 2015, he was appointed by Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to serve on the Illinois Commission on Police Professionalism.
He is very honored to have served as a police and public safety policy advisor to the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Teams. He was appointed by the President of the United States to the Task Force on 21st Century Policing on December 18, 2014.
A nationally recognized subject matter expert regarding police related topics Mr. Smoot speaks regularly at state, national, and international forums regarding community policing, public safety, and public employee labor and pension issues and he has written several articles for police publications and newsletters. He co-authored “Police Leadership Challenges in a Changing World” published in July 2012, and authored a contribution to the Special Report titled “Mending Justice: Sentinel Event Reviews” published in September 2014, both by the US Department of Justice and the National Institute of Justice. A proud veteran himself, Smoot has also been a featured speaker at the National Academy of Arbitrators and several CLE programs regarding the Rights of Military Employees.
Mr. Smoot holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Sciences from Illinois State University and his Juris Doctor degree from the Southern Illinois University School of Law, where he served as the Business Editor of the SIU Law Journal.
Early in his career he served as an elected Alderman and the Police Commissioner in Leland Grove, Illinois, for twelve years.
Mr. Smoot was selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers & Rising Stars 2008 and 2009 and has been recognized as one of the “Top Employment & Labor Attorneys in Illinois” by the publishers of Chicago magazine.