The Office of the Sheriff in Texas is a constitutionally created office with duties prescribed by the legislature (Tex. Const. Art V, Sec. 23). Although often referred to as the “Sheriff’s Department”, the correct title is “Office of the Sheriff,” and is referred to as such in DeWitt County. A Sheriff in Texas is independent and not responsible to other agencies except in the matter of an operating budget, which must be approved by the Commissioner’s Court.
The Constitution defines the Sheriff as the “Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the County.” In DeWitt County, the Sheriff’s Office is responsible for being the responding law enforcement agency for approximately one-half of the County’s population, including the unincorporated areas and three small towns, which do not have police departments. A Sheriff in each of Texas' 254 counties must either operate a jail or arrange with another county to house prisoners. The Sheriff, in addition to enforcing laws, performs such varied duties as enforcing estray laws; collecting fines and court costs; conducting court-ordered sales of real estate or other items; providing security for the district and county courts; serving of civil and criminal processes, such as subpoenas, warrants, capias, and various writs such as writs of attachment in child custody cases. Communications (dispatch) and 911 operations are also the responsibility of the Sheriff in most counties in Texas.
The Office of Sheriff is one of the oldest offices known to our system of jurisprudence. Sheriffs are elected to office and serve for a four-year term. The sizes of Texas Sheriff’s offices are as diverse as the population of their counties.
Sheriff Carl Bowen was born and raised in DeWitt County Texas. He graduated Cuero High School in 1982. Shortly thereafter he joined the U.S. Air Force where he spent the next 10 years serving our country as a fighter jet mechanic. Sheriff Bowen earned his associate's degree while in the Air Force and was honorably discharged in 1991.
Sheriff Bowen began his law enforcement career in 1991 with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office in Tampa Florida. While with the Sheriff's office in Florida, he would be awarded a distinguished service medal for his service there. In 1998 Sheriff Bowen returned to DeWitt County to reunite with his family and continue his career in law enforcement. Sheriff Bowen served in many patrol duties and in 2005 was promoted to investigator. Sheriff Carl Bowen has had many opportunities to investigate and solve the crimes that affected DeWitt County citizens. Sheriff Bowen received many awards and recognitions throughout his career, one of the most prominent awards he has received was in 2014 when he was recognized by the Sheriff's Association of Texas as Texas Lawman of the Year. Sheriff Carl Bowen is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and is a member of many civic organizations.
Sheriff Carl Bowen is married to his wife Kandie, they have three children Ryan, Nikole and Ethan and four grandchildren. Sheriff Bowen's professional involvements include, Lions Club, Rotary Club, VFW, American Legion, and Sheriff's Association of Texas where he is on the jail advisory committee, legislative committee, and technology committee.