Charles Owen shaped the institution we call the Oklahoma City Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 123. As a very new police officer hired in 1967, Charlie Owen was a charter member of Lodge 123 in 1968. Early on in our existence he could be counted on to work on projects and encourage other officers to become members.
Owen’s activity at the lodge hall got him to elected office in the Lodge as Trustee and by 1973 Charlie was elected the 4th OKC FOP 123 President. Quite an accomplishment.
Charlie held the position for one term when a traffic accident and severe injury caused him not to seek a second term. Upon his recovery, he was immediately elected as the FOP 123 State Trustee to the State Board of Directors. In 1974, Charlie was elected State President for one term. From 1977 to 1989 Charlie was elected National Trustee from the State of Oklahoma FOP to the Grand Lodge Board of Directors. Charlie was well known around the entire nation as a talented FOP leader.
There were some other activities that made Charlie Owen a special part of the Police Department and the FOP. After his stint as a patrol officer Charles Owen was assigned to the Police Community Relations unit with detective pay. He soon rose to the rank of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. This was an unheard of rank advancement for a very active FOP member.
Charlie had a talent back then that not many police officers had. He effectively lobbied the State Legislature for both police departments and the FOP. Charlie was the go-to person at the legislature on all law enforcement and public employee labor legislation. Charlie worked the legislature nearly all of his career for management and for the FOP. Nobody could get things done at the legislature like Charlie Owen. Charlie Owen shaped the future of the FOP.
Charlie Owen shaped the future of the FOP.
Our Brother Charlie Owen accomplished one other special task that gave me my start at the Grand Lodge level to become the National Treasurer and then go on to become the National President.
With other National Trustees from New Mexico, Arizona, Kansas, Missouri, and, of course Charlie from Oklahoma, this task force jointly started the Western States FOP Coalition. This was the very first coalition at the national level. All we wanted to do was pool enough votes from the Western States to get someone elected to the Grand Lodge Executive Board – the top six offices at that time. And we did accomplish our goal by pooling enough Western States FOP votes in 1979, at Albuquerque, to elect me as the National Treasurer. Only one person previously had ever been elected to the National Board from the West before my election; that was Bud Richardson, National Secretary from Arizona, for one two-year term.
Charlie’s activity for the Order only happened because of one really significant element which is cannot by overlooked. The support Charlie received from his family. The sacrifice of time away from the family helped thousands of police officers in this state and across the nation.
We, the FOP in Oklahoma, thank Charlie’s family for sharing him with us. It would be impossible to measure the FOP’s state and national success if we had not had this husband, father, uncle, grandfather in our midst. We are eternally indebted to the Owen family.
Richard A. Boyd
Past Grand Lodge President