INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Maj. Eric Flowers’ leadership skills and dedication to law enforcement earned him recognition as one of this year’s International Association of Chiefs of Police “40 under 40” worldwide leaders.
Flowers and 39 other law enforcement professionals will be rewarded at the 126th IACP Annual Conference and Exposition Oct. 26-29 in Chicago, Illinois. For 39-year-old Flowers, the recognition is humbling.
“To be the first Florida sheriff’s member in the state to receive the award is truly an honor,” Flowers said.
The 40 under 40 selected represent agencies from the U.S., Canada, Columbia, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, India and the Solomon Islands, officials said. Flowers, like the other leaders around the globe, distinguished himself with his passion for justice.
Flowers started his law enforcement career in 2003, sheriff’s officials said. He has served numerous positions while working at the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office, including as a patrol deputy, field training officer, detective, sergeant, lieutenant, Major of the Bureau of Administration and Major of the Bureau of Law Enforcement.
Flowers made his mark at the sheriff’s office in a variety of ways, including leading the Operation Pill Street Blues case from 2011 to 2012. The year-long, multi-agency case involving statewide pain management clinics resulted in 444 arrests and the seizure of more than $1 million in assets, sheriff’s officials said.
Flowers also serves as the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office and public information officer for the county. Flowers took the lead in informing the county with updates during emergency situations including Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
Flowers is a graduate of the FBI National Academy Session 270, Leadership Florida Connect Class IX and Leadership Indian River. Flowers is also a graduate of Sebastian River High School and was moved to serve his community after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, sheriff’s officials said.
Flowers has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stetson University and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida. Flowers is working on obtaining his doctoral degree in public affairs at the University of Central Florida.
Sheriff’s officials said Flowers is the past president of the board for SafeSpace, the Treasure Coast’s only domestic violence shelter and outreach program. Flowers also serves on the boards for United Way, Kid Tag Art and the Senior Collaborative.
The IACP aims to progress the policing profession through advocacy, research, outreach and education to encourage safer communities worldwide, according to its website. The IACP is the world’s largest professional association for police leaders, with more than 30,000 members in 150 countries.