Karen Owens

Photo: Karen Owens

Lead Spokesperson
Community Relations Division,
Long Beach Police Dept.

...is a veteran Public Information Officer with extensive experience in media relations, police-community relations, and crisis communications. For the past 19 years, Karen has worked to build a positive relationship between the Long Beach Police Department and the community it serves. Under her leadership, the department's Community Relations Division has evolved into a dynamic team of employees who promote public safety through communication, education and community partnership.

Karen began her career with the Police Department in October of 1990 as a Police Services Assistant and was selected as the department's first civilian Public Information Officer in 1993. Karen quickly became the department's subject matter expert in the area of Media Relations and in 1999, was promoted to Administrator of the Community Relations Division. As the commanding officer of the division, Karen is responsible for building and maintaining positive relationships with the media and the community and for managing a wide variety of programs and assignments in the areas of Crime Prevention, Public Relations, Volunteer Services, and Media Relations. She serves as the department's lead spokesperson to the media and has managed a wide variety of high profile and politically sensitive incidents throughout her career. She also provides Media Relations training for the Long Beach Police Academy and other local law enforcement organizations and municipalities and developed the "Building a PIO Team" session for of the California Specialized Training Institute's "Crisis Communications and the Media" series.

Karen holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Long Beach and a Master's Degree in Conflict Management and Negotiation from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She is a member of numerous professional organizations including the National Information Officers Association (NIOA) and the California Association of Public Information Officials (CAPIO). Karen currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Emergency Public Information Officers Association and the Long Beach Police Foundation. Karen is also a graduate of the Leadership Long Beach Class of 1997 and was a member of their Board of Directors for six years.

Karen and her husband, Rob, live in Long Beach with their son, Drew. She is an avid traveler and also enjoys reading, scuba diving, and spending time with family and friends.