By Everett Mullican, Marketing & Communications Coordinator | West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce
As we approach the First Responders Appreciation Breakfast on September 21, it is our privilege and opportunity to shine a spotlight on an outstanding individual who has been making a difference in the West Des Moines community. Officer Andre Owen, a dedicated member of the West Des Moines Police Department (WDMPD), embodies the spirit of service, unity, and empathy that lies at the heart of our first responders.
Originally from the state of Texas, Officer Owen’s journey to becoming a pivotal figure in our community’s law enforcement began with her arrival to play basketball at Grandview University. Shortly after, her skills and knowledge from GV would eventually lead to her profession in law enforcement.
Through her educational pursuits, Officer Owen obtained a degree in Spanish with a concentration in Criminal Justice. This unique blend of skills proved to be a key asset within the West Des Moines Police Department. Joining the ranks of the WDMPD, Officer Owen’s commitment to promoting inclusivity, understanding, and effective communication quickly set her on a path that would see her becoming the Diversity Liaison Officer within the Community Outreach Programs and Services Unit in the Support Services Division.
“I wanted to translate for the police department and make sure people had a voice and that they felt like they could be heard, even if they didn’t speak the same language,” Officer Owen shared. “I knew that by being a police officer, I could do so much more and make more of a difference.”
Officer Owen’s dedication to serving as a bridge between the police force and the diverse communities they protect is what makes our city stand out from the rest. Recognizing the connection that binds our community to our first responders, Officer Owen stands as a testament to the power of unity and representation. West Des Moines is a city that values progress and diversity and is fortunate to have individuals like her working diligently to break down barriers and build meaningful connections.
“I really enjoy what I do, and the benefit of helping others and providing assistance or guidance through people’s worst days is something that we can do to help make our community better and safer,” Officer Owen said. “My goal is for everyone to see us for who we are, and us as a part of the community and as people, and I think the work we do will help accomplish that someday.”
As we gather to celebrate the incredible contributions of our first responders on September 21, Officer Andre Owen’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the impact that individuals can make when they dedicate themselves to fostering understanding, compassion, and unity. Her journey within West Des Moines is a testament to the potential that lies within each of us to create positive change.
Let us come together to honor Officer Owen’s unwavering commitment and the collective dedication of our first responders, who continually go above and beyond to ensure the safety and well-being of our community. Through their efforts, West Des Moines stands as a shining example of the strength that arises when diversity, representation, and shared values converge.