About the DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office
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.
About Sheriff Carl R. Bowen
Sheriff Carl Bowen is a 30-year Law Enforcement veteran, holding a Master peace officer’s certificate from the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement. He is also a 10-year veteran of the United States Air Force and was honorably discharged after completing his service obligation in support of Desert Storm.
Now, as the Sheriff of DeWitt County, he prioritizes employee retention and raises morale by setting higher standards. To lead by example, in 2020 he returned to college for his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice & Criminology. He is also currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice.
Through partnerships like the 287G program with ICE, the Sheriff’s Office is able to identify and remove criminal aliens as they are booked into our jail.
Sheriff Bowen is an active participant in the Sheriff’s Association of Texas and the Texas Association of Counties legislative group that allows him to directly address the issues affecting DeWitt County to our legislative branch.
He has worked with the Commissioner’s Court to build a countywide radio system benefiting first responders and citizens. By petitioning the Texas Commission of Law Enforcement, the training provider status has been reinstated, offering more education for deputies, dispatchers, and jailers. Providing this type of training, saves taxpayer dollars by reducing the need to outsource these requirements. This method of raising the standard has already shown dividends by consistently receiving a passing report in the DCSO jail from the Texas Commission of Jail Standards.
Sheriff Bowen has held various roles while at DCSO such as patrol Captain, criminal investigator, civil process, and patrol. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Gulf Bend mental health and rehabilitative services as well as a committee chairman for the Health and Human Services workgroup addressing the issues of first responder mental health crisis.
Numerous accolades have added up over the years, including being named the Sheriff’s Association Texas lawman of the year in 2016 and graduating from the FBI National Academy session 261 in 2015.
Sheriff Bowen is married to his wife Kandie, they have three children Ryan, Nikole and Ethan and five 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.