20 Under 40: Cody Owens brings fresh approach to policing
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Millennials like Cody Owens are helping to reshape the state of policing in the United States in a positive way.
Owens became an officer with the Steamboat Springs Police Department in September 2015.
When: 5 to 7 p.m. July 26
Where: Haymaker Patio Grill
Cost: $35, $15 for Young Professionals Network members
“He’s just got this approach to life that we find refreshing,” Police Chief Cory Christensen said. “He’s always looking for an opportunity to be a larger part of the organization, and he’s generally pleasant to be around. He goes out and treats citizens well.”
Owens is a grounded and smart 27-year-old who humanizes policing.
Once a very shy boy, Owens started opening up while doing theft prevention for a Walmart store. He was warned beforehand that he would have to talk to and confront people.
“I found out that I could do that enough that it worked,” said Owens, who grew up in Southern Illinois.
He said he has always been enamored by police work.
“Looking back, I wanted to do the community policing stuff,” Owens said. “Yesterday, we got to spend half our shift hanging out with kids.”
At the Steamboat Police Department, Owens has developed a niche for investigating cyber crime and managing technology, such as body camera equipment.
“He just jumps right in,” Christensen said.
Owens, who lives in Hayden, has been training new officers as a field training officer, and he helps lead the Citizens’ Police Academy.
Other police departments have tried to recruit Owens, but he said he is dedicated to Steamboat.
“Absolutely,” Owens said. “I want chief’s job someday. I love what the chief gets to do — talking to the public.”
Owens has talked to Christensen about his commitment, especially when other job opportunities came up.
“He just said ‘I’m all in,’ and that really was a turning point for him,” Christensen said. “This is the place he wants to dedicate his efforts and energy.”
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