After three years with the Estevan Police Service (EPS), Chief Rich Lowen will step down from his role on August 31, 2024. Reflecting on his time in Estevan, he noted that collaboration was a highlight of his tenure.

Lowen, who has 32 years of experience with the Winnipeg Police Service, took over at EPS in 2021.

“It’s been a wonderful experience. It’s been a very supportive community, supportive for policing, supportive in every aspect of community life,” he said.

Moving from Winnipeg to Estevan was a unique transition for Lowen. He noted that while issues such as addictions, theft, and crimes against people exist in Estevan, community connections help to manage them. “The nice part about coming to a smaller place is a lot of people know everybody. And that’s a strength. To have that kind of connection when something happens, to be able to reach out and get that information back."

He added that collaborating with groups such as Envision Counselling and the Downtown Business Association has been invaluable during his time at EPS.

“Probably the one moment that stands out is when one of my officers was injured and shot. The amount of support that came from the community without us asking for anything, the amount of concern, caring, and support that started to flow into the station was overwhelming and so greatly appreciated,” Lowen said. “It just represented that the community cared about us as much as we care about the community, and that’s really one of the big standouts.”

While the support from Estevan’s community groups has been significant, he noted that working with different law enforcement agencies has been unmatched compared to his experiences across the country. “It’s been a very collaborative effort. We support each other through all kinds of critical incidents or any kind of policing that needs to be done. We’re always just a phone call or radio away from the RCMP or from Weyburn."

Lowen reflected fondly on the community of officers at EPS. He noted that in larger organizations, officers typically specialize in one role for extended periods, whereas in a smaller organization, officers must be versatile and able to perform various roles, something he found impressive.

“They have to be good at everything, from traffic to connections with the community, to investigations and everything in between."

He offered some words of wisdom for the next chief or any public-facing community member.

“Listen to the people around you. That’s where you’ll get an understanding of what’s needed. Listen to your members, listen to the community, and help them succeed.”

As he prepares to leave Estevan, Lowen said he will miss the people the most. He added that he has enjoyed the pace of life in the city and hopes residents don’t take for granted how safe it is. “It’s a really good place to live, and I think it’s going to do really, really well given the recent announcements of the developments that are coming to Estevan. I see nothing but positive things coming."

While the specifics are unknown, he shared to DiscoverEstevan that for his next endeavour, he will be staying in Saskatchewan as part of law enforcement.