Cal Poly Pomona alumnus Steven Gomez was announced as the new chief physical security officer for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians on Aug. 29.
Gomez began his service at San Manuel the week of Aug. 26.
According to the tribe’s official website, “The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near the city of Highland, Calif. San Manuel is one of several clans of Serrano Indians, who are the indigenous people of the San Bernardino highlands, passes, valleys, mountains and high deserts who share a common language and culture.”
Gomez graduated from CPP in 1989 with a major in accounting and a minor in criminal justice.
“The chief physical security officer reflects the Tribe’s overall commitment to safety, security and risk management,” stated San Manuel Chairwoman, Lynn Valbuena in an Aug. 29 press release from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
As chief physical security officer, Gomez will be taking a proactive approach to security, gathering as much information on threats and situations that could impact the enterprise.
Gomez recognizes that there are thousands of people who go through their venue and that there is always the possibility of improving safety.
He will ensure that the staff is prepared to react whenever unexpected threats arise.
Gomez has a strong law enforcement background, as he was the former Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) special agent in charge of counterterrorism for the Los Angeles field office. He was also a former Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer, as well as cofounder and former CEO of security consulting company B2G Global Strategies.
B2G Global Strategies is a security consulting company that specializes in services such as investigations, security consulting and policy guidance for both government entities and the business sector internationally and domestically.
Gomez was also a security contributor for ABC7 news.
Gomez can no longer continue the ABC7 because he can’t appear on camera or radio due to his new position under the San Manuel brand.
Gomez was born and raised in Pico Rivera and attended CPP for his undergraduate degree.
As a student at CPP, Gomez was involved on campus by being part of the ski club and in a politically aligned club where he enjoyed debates with other students.
“It’s kind of unusual the way I did it, but I had my focus,” Gomez said. “So, in high school I took an accounting class my senior year and my father was always interested in accounting and he taught me how to balance my checkbook … I didn’t want to be an accountant, what I wanted to do in high school (was) to be in law enforcement.”
Gomez stated he was shaped by gang violence growing up in Pico Rivera and faced a couple of incidents where he remembers gang members threatening to harm him with a gun to his face.
These incidents are mainly what encouraged Gomez to get involved in law enforcement.
The skills Gomez developed as an accountant such as auditing, understanding books and records and understanding money transactions helped him throughout his career in law enforcement and helped him get an internship with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
After graduating college, Gomez joined the LAPD and was eventually assigned to the South East Division.
“The experience I gained at LAPD was priceless …. Nobody can understand what it’s like to be a police officer unless you’ve swam in that water,” Gomez said. “I found not only did that experience make me a better agent, but it provided me with a lifelong perspective of what a police officer does.”
Based on his FBI and LAPD experience, Gomez will be an asset to the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.
“It’s imperative to think proactively as opposed to reactively,” said Gomez on how he will improve security. “We want to be proactive; we want to be prevention oriented.”
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