Boris A. Robinson, the new deputy chief of the Marine Corps Police Department aboard Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow, California, brings with him an impressive background in law enforcement.
Robinson assumed the role of second in command of the MCLBB Police Department August 26, filling a vacancy of more than four months.
He will now be working with Capt. Mark Machado, the new Chief of Police, to administer the department responsible for the safety of the base’s residents and infrastructure.
Among other skills, his résumé includes being a Chief Deputy of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department working as part of the Sheriff’s command staff.
During his retirement Robinson had been instructing at Yucaipa High School as a law enforcement teacher with the Regional Occupational Program as well teaching law enforcement and management classes at the University of Phoenix, Az., and various other substitute teaching positions in the area when a friend told him of the vacancy at the Marine Corps Police Department.
“I went online at USA Jobs and found there were actually two different deputy chief jobs available at two Department of Defense installations, and one of them was with MCLB Barstow,” Robinson said.
He applied for both, thinking the DoD hiring process being what it is that it would take a while to get a response.
To his surprise, within a few weeks, he was contacted by MCLB Barstow to come in for an interview, which he passed with flying colors.
Robinson, a native of Queens, N.Y., is also a U.S. Air Force veteran, mustering out with four years of service as a sergeant.
In 1982 he was stationed at March Air Force Base in Riverside County where he met his wife to be. After a posting at Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, Maine, Robinson got out of the service in 1983 and the couple decided to settle in California.
It was while working as an Animal Control Officer for the Riverside County Health Department that he had an encounter that was to lead him on a new path in life.
“I was sitting in my Animal Control truck having lunch in a field in mid-1986 when an unmarked Ford Crown Victoria stopped near my vehicle and an African-American gentlemen in a Sheriff’s Department uniform got out and approached me. I could see he had captain’s bars on his uniform,” Robinson said. “He introduced himself as the Riverside County Deputy Sheriff in charge of the Sheriff’s sub-station in Lake Elsinore.”
That man was also the highest-ranking African-American in the Sheriff’s Department at that time.
“He asked me if I had ever thought about going into law enforcement,” Robinson said. “He said there was a hiring push at the Sheriff’s Department and I should think about applying.”
Robinson did apply and was accepted into the Sheriff’s Department, rising quickly through the ranks to eventually become one of only six chief deputies, before retiring in 2012.
He noted though Riverside County is more than 7,300 square miles, and MCLB Barstow is a fraction of that, the mission of the police officers aboard MCLB Barstow does not change.
“The rules, ethics and decision-making challenges faced by all police officers still apply no matter the size of the area served,” he said. “Police officers still make decisions that can affect a person’s life forever, so they have to be constantly trained on how to react to whatever situation they’re in.”
His advice for someone thinking of going into the law enforcement field is be prepared for hard work.
“Law enforcement is a calling and is a very worthwhile career,” Robinson said, “but you have to be prepared to work at it.”
Robinson said those considering going into law enforcement also have to like writing because there will be a lot of that.
“We are the keepers of the gate, figuratively and literally,” he explained. “We’re the first ones at the scene to take witness and victim statements, so you have to able to articulate what you saw.”
“I look forward to the challenges offered by working at Marine Corps Logistics Base Barstow. Being in law enforcement has been the most rewarding experience of my life. Serving my community has been both an honor and a privilege,” Robinson concluded.