An Escondido police officer is being honored as one of the best in the nation

It's an honor that comes at an unusual time

ESCONDIDO- An Escondido police officer will be honored at our nation’s capital for his dedication to his community. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund has selected Lieutenant Al Owens as its officer of the month for January.

Lieutenant Owens has dedicated his life to public service; first as a marine and then with the Escondido Police Department. Owens retired back in July, so we was surprised to learn he was being recognized. Someone nominated Lt. Owens before he retired making him eligible.

The 20-yeas Escondido veteran has dedicated much of his career to serving the youngest members of his community. Lt. Owens developed a child safety academy; a five-hour training that covers everything from learning to call 911 to drug awareness to anti-kidnapping drills. He’s also a youth coach and mentor. Owens say he learned early in his career kids are the heart of the community. ” I saw what we could do change things. As far as lowering the crime rate, the biggest thing is to work with these kids when they are young. So when they get older we already have it instilled that police are actually their friends and not their enemy.”, explains Owens.

Lt. Owens didn’t stay retired for long. Two days after officially leaving his department his Chief hired him back to continue run the Police Athletic League. He also teaches some police training courses in Escondido. Lt. Owens will be honored with the other monthly honorees at a ceremony in Washington DC in May of 2018. He will no doubt be busy between now and then.