TOWN OF KENT – Kevin Owens is the new police chief in the Town of Kent. He was sworn in by Supervisor Maureen Fleming.
Owens, who had been acting chief for the year, joined the force in 1995 and worked his way up the ladder becoming detective in 2001, sergeant in 2012 and lieutenant three years later.
He also served as the department’s DARE officer for 18 years.
Fleming described Owens as the “finest police officer found anywhere. He exemplifies everything you need and want in a chief. Kevin is fair, honest, caring, a leader and an all around good guy who has instilled these qualities in his officers.”
Owens’ wife of nearly three decades, Heidi, pinned a chief’s badge on her husband’s uniform while his parents, Ann and Richard Owens and two of the Owens’ children, Lauren and Ashley, all beamed with pride. Daughter number three, Rebecca, resides in Colorado and was unable to attend the ceremony.
Owens, who was a member of the military in the 1980’s, recalled growing up in a small town outside of Cooperstown.
“Richfield Springs, New York is a homey little community with its 1,300 residents. When I decided to become a police officer after being employed in a myriad of occupations including acting as a restaurateur, managing a Pizza Hut and even driving a cab, opportunities existed for me to become a member of larger police departments including New York City and New Rochelle,” Owens said. “I felt like winning the Lottery after being hired by former Kent PD Chief Donald Smith. My decision to make my mark in Putnam County was a wise one since Kent became our home. My children attended the Kent Schools. The community was welcoming. I felt as though I could make a difference and really help people.”
During his 24 years on the job, Owens has worked alongside “some of the finest law enforcement professionals found anywhere. People like Gerry Locascio, Kevin Douchkoff, Jerry Raneri, Chief Smith and our most recent chief, Alex DiVernieri, are all local people whose heart and soul are found within their community.”
Owens the Kent Police Department “has always been connected to residents of Lake Carmel, Kent and Kent Cliffs. From senior citizens to today’s youth and others in between, I want our residents to know that we will continue to make a difference in their lives and all we are is a phone call away because a small town police department does much more than make arrests for drug sales or ticket speeding motorists. We are here to help a frightened resident get a bat out of his or her house, make dark house checks or turn off a water pipe. When a senior citizen gets scammed by an unscrupulous individual, my officers and I will be there to offer advice and catch those responsible.”