The chief of the El Monte Police Department died Monday due to “health issues,” officials announced.
Chief Ben Lowry began his career in law enforcement with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 2000, and transitioned to the El Monte Police Department in 2002. He was appointed interim police chief last December, and was made permanent chief in June, officials said.
That same month, two El Monte police officers were fatally shot in the line of duty.
He served many roles during his 20-year tenure, including managing the field services division, administrative services division, patrol division, traffic safety bureau, community relations office, school resource officer program, detective bureau, gang and narcotics unit and the records bureau.
He held two associates degrees from Rio Hondo College, a bachelor’s degree from Union Institute & University and a master’s degree from Woodbury University, officials said.
He had also recently graduated from the 14-month California P.O.S.T. Command College Program, which prepares law enforcement leaders for future challenges.
“We are all at a loss and mourning a great leader, man, husband, son, friend, and colleague,” acting Chief Jake Fisher said in a statement. “Chief Lowry’s dedication and commitment to the Department and the residents of El Monte will never be forgotten. Throughout his tenure, he showed his love for the City of El Monte, leading with compassion and unity. I am grateful to have known and served with Chief Lowry for many years.”
A procession for Lowry was held Monday evening.
Funeral and memorial arrangements will be announced this week, officials said.