by Ivan Foley
While the names of other potential candidates remain in circulation in the political rumor mill, one person has made a verbal commitment.
Captain Mark Owen of the Platte County Sheriff’s Department this week announced that he will be a candidate for sheriff in 2012.
Other candidates may yet step forward to join the race for the opening being created by the retirement of Richard Anderson. Anderson, who was first elected in 1996, is retiring as sheriff at the end of his current term next year.
Some of the other names that have been previously reported in The Landmark as being potential candidates for sheriff include Bob Zubeck, who is retired from the Missouri State Highway Patrol; William Willoughby, who is with the Gladstone Police Department; and Erik Holland, a captain with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department.
Owen this week said he has extensive training and experience in law enforcement, department administration, emergency management and homeland security.
He is the chair or past chair of many regional committees and is one of 987 Internationally Certified Emergency Managers in the world.
Owen, a Republican, has been with the Platte County Sheriff’s Department since 1979.
Hired as a reserve deputy, Owen worked his way through the reserve ranks and in 1990 was moved into a full-time position and immediately assigned to the patrol division of the department. In 1994, Owen was promoted to the position of administrative sergeant of the patrol division.
In 2000, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and then captain of the emergency services division. This past summer after the employment of road patrol captain Steve Johnson was terminated, Owen was transferred from the emergency services division to the road patrol captain.
There, Owen currently oversees all road patrol operations, including the patrol officers, the strategic reserve unit, civilian patrol, animal control, school resource officers, major crash team, K-9 Unit, and the department’s traffic officer.
“Over the last 34 years that I have been privileged to work for the citizens of Platte County, I have always worked hard to serve all of the citizens of the county regardless if it was within a city or the unincorporated portions of the county. I am not running for personal reasons, I am running because I am the best candidate for the office of sheriff,” Owen said in a release.
“If elected, I will devote my efforts to building upon the successes of the department. We have worked hard to build a very professional law enforcement department that is a good steward of the taxpayers’ money, free of politics, a department that actively pursues criminals and a department that strives to provide a safe community for the citizens that have placed their trust in us. The citizens in Platte County enjoy a good and safe quality of life and I intend to keep it that way,” Owen said.
Owen lives in the Parkville area with his wife, Linda.