Meet Chief Mark Flores
A Q&A with Cal State East Bay's new chief of University Police
Mark Flores is Cal State East Bay’s new chief of University Police. He spent the last 26 years with the Alameda County Sheriff’s office where he was a captain. The East San Jose native is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management from Ashford University in Clinton, Iowa. He recently sat down with East Bay Today to talk about his approach to law enforcement and what he wants students to know about him.
Why is community-oriented policing important to you and how do you envision your role here?
Community oriented policing is important for a lot of reasons. Primarily, it enables us to build relationships by establishing rapport. It is the goal of our department to gain the trust of students, faculty and staff so they feel assured we are going to protect them, their personal belongings, and create a harmonious environment that encourages learning. In this way, we can work together to resolve crime and make the campus safer for everybody.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in San Jose, the youngest of four boys. My parents never had an opportunity to go to high school because they had to help their family work in the fields and orchards. I am among the first generation in my family to get my degree. Coming from a poor area, growing up on the East side, not having a lot, two parents working full time, having to deal with everything kids have to deal with — drugs, bullying, outside influences — I wanted to have a better quality of life.
I was lucky enough to have positive role models who steered me into law enforcement, where I have come to understand everybody wants to have a good life. We all want to feel safe and protected in our parks, in our homes and neighborhoods. I looked at law enforcement as a way to establish that type of comfortable lifestyle and quality of life for my community.
What do you want students to know about you?
I would want them to know I am very personable. It is more important for me to earn respect than to demand respect. A lot of times people see a person in a uniform and they make their assessment based on how they look. I am a human first and want to earn our students trust.
How do you relax?
I enjoy my family, fitness and music. I have a disc jockey business and I have been practicing that art since I was a teenager. I’m not the best dancer, but I can help people enjoy dancing and create an environment that is fun. Music is another form of communication. Music can transcend culture gender and race. It’s a way to speak to people.