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LA VERNE, CA – The City of La Verne expresses its deepest appreciation to Police Chief Colleen Flores, who has announced her retirement after an illustrious six-year tenure marked by outstanding accomplishments and a steadfast commitment to public service. In February of 2022, the City announced that Chief Flores was taking a leave of absence due to a work-related injury. After a year of recovery, with the hope of returning back to full-time duty, Chief Flores has shared with the community that she will be retiring early due to this medical condition.
“It is with a heavy heart yet sense of deep gratitude that I share with you my decision to retire from my position as Police Chief due to complications from a brain injury,” said Chief Flores. “It is necessary for me to step away from the role I have cherished serving this incredible community.”
Chief Colleen Flores joined the La Verne Police Department on January 8, 2018, as the first female Captain in the department’s 114-year history. She came to La Verne with 22 years of experience with the Arcadia Police Department where she supervised and worked in nearly every assignment within police agencies including Patrol, the Training Division, a regional SWAT team, Homeless Engagement team, the Special Events team, Investigations, the Dispatch Center, Community Services and the Records Division. It was in light of this vast experience and leadership that on January 1, 2022, she became the first female Chief of Police for the City of La Verne.
“Under Chief Flores's leadership, the La Verne Police Department has achieved remarkable milestones and implemented transformative initiatives that have enhanced the safety and well-being of the community,” stated Mayor Tim Hepburn. “Chief Flores exemplifies a dedication to service before self, leaving an indelible mark on the department's culture, and on our City.”
During her tenure, she made significant achievements, such as the formalization of a department-wide wellness program, demonstrating her commitment to the physical and mental well-being of department personnel. Recognizing the importance of a healthy and resilient workforce, she championed initiatives that fostered a positive and supportive environment within the department.
Chief Flores was instrumental in establishing the department's first K9 program, further enhancing the department's capabilities in crime prevention and public safety. Additionally, she played a fundamental role in acquiring an armored rescue vehicle, providing essential resources to respond effectively to critical incidents and protect both officers and the community.
Her visionary leadership extended to the development of the department's motto, "Safety, Community, and Service." Working closely with dedicated department members, she fostered a culture centered
around these core values, reinforcing the department's commitment to excellence. It was this unwavering leadership and commitment that led to her being named a “Woman of Distinction” in the 41st Assembly District by Assemblymember Chris Holden in 2022.
Chief Flores was a driving force behind the creation of the department's first Honor Guard, showcasing the department's respect and dedication to honoring fallen officers and representing the highest standards of professionalism.
In recognition of her commitment to community service, Chief Flores identified the need to enhance the department's outreach efforts, particularly to the unhoused population. She spearheaded the creation of the department's first Homeless Outreach Support Team, which has since expanded its services to address the needs of the vulnerable and maintain the overall quality of life for all residents.
The impact of her leadership will undoubtedly resonate within the department and the community for years to come. Alongside her commitment and service to the City of La Verne, Chief Flores is an active Board Member of the Peace Officers Association of Los Angeles County (POALAC). She served as Co-Chair and is currently on the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement committee through the California Police Chief’s Association. Chief Flores has also served on the Board as President of the San Gabriel Valley Peace Officers’ Association, a non-profit organization for law enforcement networking and training.
The City of La Verne wishes Police Chief Colleen Flores a Happy Retirement.
The La Verne Police Department will continue to operate under the leadership of Acting Chief Sam Gonzalez while the City Manager Domer and the City Council work together to determine the next steps for the Department.