James Smallwood is the National Treasurer for the National Fraternal Order of Police which represents more than 373,000 members nationwide. He was elected to this position in August of 2021. James also serves as the President of the Nashville Fraternal Order of Police, Andrew Jackson Lodge #5, which actively represents nearly 2000 members on issues related to the law enforcement profession. He has served in this role since July of 2016. As President, he has worked to negotiate for better pay, benefits and working conditions for the officers that work for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, implemented new policies and procedures to advance the efficiency of the organization and successfully managed multiple not-for-profit entities.
James also serves as the President of the Andrew Jackson Police Youth Camp, a not-for-profit charitable organization whose mission is to build positive relationships with the police officers of Nashville and the children in the communities they serve by breaking down the cultural barriers that exist through various community programs. For more than 50 years, the youth camp has conducted a 6-week youth camp program for at-risk children as well as the annual holiday Cops and Kids program. This organization continues to expand its reach by establishing additional fall and spring break camp programs and continuing the Caring Police Respond program, where officers who identify a member in their community who is facing adversity, with no means to overcome it, can request financial aid to help them overcome whatever situation they may be facing.
James has also served with the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department for 13 years. Starting in 2010, James served as a patrol officer for three years before advancing to the department’s flex unit, a unit whose sole focus was to proactively combat crime by seizing illegal narcotics and weapons and apprehending individuals who were involved in violent criminal activity. James served with the flex unit for approximately one year before advancing to the department’s criminal investigations unit where he served as a detective for approximately one year. James then moved to the department’s strategic development division, a unit responsible for development of departmental policy, compliance with the standards set forth by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and various other tasks as assigned by the office of the Chief of Police. James served in this role for one year before being promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Upon his promotion, he returned to the department’s patrol division where he served as a district sergeant in the east precinct.
While assigned to these various roles James has also served as a Volunteer Chaplain and peer supporter in the department’s wellness unit, as well as an adjunct instructor with the MNPD training academy for traffic stop and reality-based training. James has also served on President Donald J. Trump’s Commission on Law Enforcement and Administration of Justice as a Commissioner as well as Tennessee Governor Bill Lee’s 2020 Law Enforcement Task Force as a Commissioner.