Alton chief selected for international leadership award

Among law enforcement leaders around the world, an international organization of police chiefs selected one from the Rio Grande Valley as one of the top rising leaders from around the world.

The International Association of Chiefs of Police, or IACP, awarded Alton Police Chief Jonathan B. Flores the 2020 40 under 40 Leadership Award.

Flores, 38, was the only law enforcement leader in Texas to be chosen for the recognition which is given to law enforcement leaders who “exemplify leadership, dedication, and service to their communities,” according to a news release issued by the organization.

Those who received the award are selected from a pool of applicants from five continents.

“It is an honor to be recognized for leadership on a global stage,” Flores stated in the release. “While the award is listed as an individual award, this accomplishment is rather a direct reflection of the leadership and culture that exists in the City of Alton.”

That culture, he said, started with their mayor, Salvador Vela, and continued with their city commissioners and City Manager Jeff Underwood.

“Their style of leadership allows for continued success and professional growth at the department head level,” Flores said.

The chief is only the latest Alton officer to be honored for their work.

Last month, the department announced that Communications Specialist Paulo Armendariz received the Texas NENA’s 2020 Silent Hero Award.

The award is presented every year to a telecommunicator who has demonstrated “exceptional professionalism in the field of emergency communications,” according to the Aug. 18 announcement.

“Our communications personnel are the first link in the chain between our community and the officers who serve them,” Flores stated at the time. “They are silent heroes who work diligently to ensure the safety of our community and our first responders.”

“We are very proud of Paulo’s accomplishment,” Flores continued. “His hard work, dedication, and leadership has earned him this well deserved recognition.”