Seal of the City of La VerneLast week, the City of La Verne City Council unanimously supported La Verne Police Chief Nick Paz and City Manager Bob Russi’s recommendation to designate Captain Colleen Flores as the La Verne Police Department’s (LVPD) next Chief of Police. The Council will formalize that announcement at their September 8 meeting where they will approve the terms of that agreement. These succession planning efforts are vital for ensuring there is a viable plan and clear direction set for the department when the time comes for Chief Paz’s retirement. Captain Flores will also make history in the La Verne community upon her eventual appointment as the City’s very first female Chief of Police.

Although Chief Paz has not indicated a timeline for his retirement, identifying Captain Flores as the next Chief of Police removes doubt about the leadership and future of LVPD. “With Captain Flores’ arrival three years ago, the La Verne Police Department gained someone with all the leadership qualities desired and sought after in a police executive,” said current Police Chief Nick Paz. “I am confident that upon my retirement sometime in the coming years that Captain Flores is prepared to carry the Department into the future and will continue to lead it in the right direction.”

Once appointed, Captain Flores will be the City’s first female Chief of Police. In 2018, Captain Flores was the first female police officer to be appointed Captain within the LVPD. Her extensive experience and leadership qualities have allowed her to rise to the top of the La Verne Police Department. As Captain, Flores has been responsible for many Departmental programs such as Uniformed Patrol Division, the Traffic Enforcement Bureau, Reserve Forces Bureau, Training Bureau and the Foothill Special Enforcement Team (FSET).

“Captain Flores’ appointment as Chief Designee ensures that her community-focused mindset and superior skillsets remain part of the cultural fabric of our La Verne Police Department,” said Mayor Tim Hepburn. “The Council and I were thrilled to support this truly noteworthy personnel action.”

Captain Flores began her career in law enforcement as an explorer with the Upland Police Department, and then became a cadet for the Chino Police Department in 1994. She then worked as an officer for the Arcadia Police Department for over a decade. During her career, Captain Flores pursued a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix as well as a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Woodbury University. Captain Flores also completed Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) with Command College in 2018. This 14-month leadership course is a selective program in which only 24 candidates across California are chosen to participate. The curriculum focused on making adaptive decisions and finding solutions to future issues that will be faced in law enforcement, such as the threat of drones and the impact that self-driving cars will have on highway patrol.

“I am honored to have been selected to lead the La Verne Police Department after Chief Paz,” said Captain Flores. “Chief Paz has worked hard to forge beneficial relationships between the Department and the La Verne community, and I hope to continue Chief Paz’s vision and legacy as Chief in the future.”