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ALTON — This award is presented to 40 top rising leaders under the age of 40 from around the globe, who exemplify leadership, dedication, and service to their communities. This year’s awardees were selected from a very competitive field of applicants in five continents. These individuals embody the qualities inherent in excellent law enforcement personnel and leaders. “It is an honor to be recognized for leadership on a global stage. 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. It starts with our Mayor Salvador Vela, and continues with our Commission and City Manager. Their style of leadership allows for continued success and professional growth at the department head level.” -Chief Jonathan B. Flores As a third-generation police officer, Chief Jonathan Flores was originally inspired to serve his community by his stepfather and grandfather. He continues to be motivated by the opportunities for positive community impact afforded by a career in law enforcement. Chief Flores started his public safety career as an emergency communications specialist, and he progressively climbed the ranks to supervisor before deciding to enroll as a police cadet. He has had a diverse career, with roles including patrol officer, career services advisor, field training officer, and major crimes investigator. Upon taking the helm at Alton Police Department, Chief Flores transformed the culture and operations of the agency. He has been an integral part of the work to rebuild community-police relations and has developed several programs to serve the community, such as the Back to School Bash, Safety Sticker Program, Light the Night Bike Light Giveaway, and a Citizen Police Academy, among others. Chief Flores emphasizes mental health care for all first responders and continues to diligently work to reduce the stigma associated with mental health intervention. He worked with the nonprofit Marketplace Chaplains to develop Alton Cares, a 24-hour counseling program, which has since been expanded beyond the agency to include all city employees (at no cost to them). Chief Flores continually hosts trainings on resiliency and first responder trauma and is committed to officer mental wellness and suicide prevention. “We need to continue to work toward taking care of those who serve in this noble profession and eliminate the stigma that once prevented them from reaching out for help when needed.” Story courtesy of Alton PD. ...

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