El Monte Police Chief Ben Lowry dies at 45 of unspecified ‘health issues’
He was first hired in 2003 by the department’s then-chief and took over after the chief retired suddenly in 2004.
Lowry’s body will be donated to the department’s coroner, Lt. Eric L. Brown said at the time of his death.
He was also a former member of the department’s SWAT team.
Lowry is the third law enforcement official among at least 11 California law enforcement officers who have died since last week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said: “It’s not enough for any department to stand on a stage and announce it’s gonna stand down. We’re going to continue to serve the public, so it’s incumbent upon us to do everything we can, within our means, to provide public safety.”
The California Highway Patrol was to start transporting its officers to the state’s medical facilities over the weekend.
The LA County Sheriff’s Department and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department will begin screening all passengers arriving in California from March 26.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department released the names of officers who died while in their custody during a media briefing Monday.
Lowry was a former LAPD SWAT member and the department’s first African American deputy chief, the department said in a statement. Among his many notable accomplishments were serving as city of Los Angeles police chief, as well as serving as an officer in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s SWAT team.
“He is a true leader who helped guide and inspire a department that was in need of a new voice and vision,” Deputy Chief Patrick Killelea said. “We send our most sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Deputy Chief Lowry, and we are grateful for what he did and accomplished in his short career.”
Lowry was also in charge of training for the department’s new body camera pilot program that began last March with 17 officers.
He retired from the department in May and was the department’s chief of operations from Jan. 1, 2011 until last August.
The chief’s death comes as California’s death toll from the coronavirus surpasses 3,000.
Two days after Governor Gavin Newsom