The Defenders

The Broward County Public Defender’s Office in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. has a not-so-secret-weapon. The investigative unit is heavily stocked with retired cops who now use their skill sets to help the accused, who are often too poor to afford an attorney, a fighting chance of building a defense and securing a fair trail. The investigators, many former detectives on the police force, have expertise in interrogation tactics, surveillance and hand-to-hand combat. They’ve worked for area homicide units, narcotics units, vice units, and were members of SWAT teams, to name a few. The team is led by Al Smith, who spent most of his police career working undercover and posing as a hitman with the organized crime unit of the Ft. Lauderdale Police department.

The Broward County Public Defender’s Office in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. has a not-so-secret-weapon. The investigative unit is heavily stocked with retired cops who now use their skill sets to help the accused, who are often too poor to afford an attorney, a fighting chance of building a defense and securing a fair trail. The investigators, many former detectives on the police force, have expertise in interrogation tactics, surveillance and hand-to-hand combat. They’ve worked for area homicide units, narcotics units, vice units, and were members of SWAT teams, to name a few. The team is led by Al Smith, who spent most of his police career working undercover and posing as a hitman with the organized crime unit of the Ft. Lauderdale Police department.