By MARK REAGAN, The Brownsville Herald, April 16, 2018
Photo: Brownsville Police Department Bike Patrol Supervisor Sgt. Fernando Flores stands outside the Brownsville Plaza Bus Terminal in downtown Brownsville with their newly issued Kore patrol bicycles. Photo by Miguel Roberts.
Sgt. Fernando Flores spends his working hours supervising the Brownsville Police Department’s prized bike patrol unit, but when he’s not serving the citizens of Brownsville, life is all about his family.
“Well, I’m a family man,” Flores said from his office inside La Plaza at the Multimodal Bus Terminal.
Flores, who joined the force in 2008 and was promoted to his current position in 2016, said the sacrifices families of police officers make often are overlooked.
“A lot of my off time goes to my family and rightfully so, because one thing I think gets overlooked is the sacrifice the family makes when their loved one is in law enforcement,” Flores said. “If you work a night shift, guess what? Daddy or Mommy is not home at night. When you get home from working the graveyard shift, it is time to take the kids to school.”
That’s why he spends his time off taking his three children to Peter Piper, Chucky Cheese, the carnival, the Island and soon, hopefully, to Disney World in Florida.
He also loves to barbecue, a tradition he learned from his family while growing up.
“I can call it my main hobby,” he said. “I do it on a weekend basis for my family.”
As a law enforcement officer, Flores said it’s something to which he aspired from a young age.
Growing up in a migrant farm-working family, Flores, who is from Brownsville, said he learned so much by living in places like California, North and South Carolina, Florida, Virginia and Indiana that have helped him in his law enforcement career.
“I think in our field, communication is vital. I learned other people’s cultures and their backgrounds … It helped me become more well-rounded in dealing with people from all sorts of walks of life,” Flores said.
Flores, who loves sports, particularly basketball, is a huge Spurs fan, and his athleticism and passion for sports is one reason he loves working with the PD’s bike patrol unit.
“It’s all about safety and also it’s about health. That’s another benefit that we as a bike patrol, we get to benefit from the exercise of being on the bicycle while working. So we love it,” he said. “And if anybody ever has a question, they are more than happy to stop any of my officers. They are very well-informed on everything in regards to the safety of bike riding.”
One of the most surprising aspects of Flores’ life beyond the badge is that he is a video game fanatic.
“Believe it or not, I’m a big video game advocate. I play PlayStation. The NBA 2K game, of course,” Flores said. “And they’re surprised when my kids have their little friends over and they are surprised, ‘Your dad’s an officer and he’s playing video games.’ They’re like, ‘What?’”
All in all, Flores loves his work with the bike patrol division.
“We are doing what we can to help out the downtown community in anyway possible, whether it comes to bike safety or law enforcement issues,” Flores said. “We are here to help out and make it an even safer place than what it already is.”