El Monte Police Chief and Rio Hondo College Alumnus Passes Away


Photo Credit: Jeffrey Barragan

Rio Hondo College alumnus and El Monte Police Chief Ben Lowry passed away on Monday, Oct. 24, 2022.

According to the description of the Chief Ben Lowry Memorial Fund on porac.org, Lowry passed away from cancer. The fundraiser–with a goal of $50,000–was created to help his family and assist with funeral costs.

El Monte Police Chief and Rio Hondo College Graduate

Lowry had been interim Police Chief since December 2021. Then, in June he formally became the El Monte Police Chief, having been with the Department for two decades.

In addition, “Prior to his illness, he [Lowry] sent five El Monte Police Department recruits to our Police Academy who recently graduated on October 5, 2022 [sic] as part of Class No. 213,” according to a message sent by the Rio Hondo Superintendent/President’s Office on behalf of the Río Hondo Community College District, Board of Trustees, and the Police Academy. 

The Rio Hondo Police Academy is part of the Division of Public Safety department. Under its umbrella, the department includes programs like the Fire Academy, EMT training, and Homeland Security.

Nonetheless, within the El Monte Police Department, Lowry managed over a dozen departments, including the Field Services Division, School Resource Officer program, Gang and Narcotics Unit, and Records Bureau.

“Chief Lowry’s dedication and commitment to the Department and the residents of El Monte will never be forgotten. Throughout his tenure, he showed his love for the City of El Monte, leading with compassion and unity,” said the acting Police Chief, Jake Fisher, in a press statement.

Lowry is the third person in the El Monte Police Department to pass away this year. In June, Sgt. Michael Paredes–a Rio Hondo College Police Academy graduate–and officer Joseph Santana were killed.

In honor of Chief Lowry, Rio Hondo College announced that the campus’ flags will be at half-staff. And the Board of Trustees will hold a moment of silence during the Nov. 9 board meeting.