Last week, thanks to the advocacy of L.A. County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, L.A. County allocated a generous $245,000 grant to fund the construction of the City of Lancaster’s Owen Memorial Park Plaza Project. This installation will pay tribute to the legacy of Sergeant Steve Owen, featured at his namesake park.
“Honoring the life and legacy of Sergeant Owen is a matter that is close to our hearts. He was a prominent figure in our community; a man of character, faith, and selflessness; and a devoted family man. Throughout the generations to come, this memorial plaza will be a cherished site for our residents, the Owen family, and all who visit Owen Memorial Park,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “We greatly appreciate Supervisor Barger’s continual championing of the Antelope Valley, as well as her avid support of such endeavors that mean so much to our community.”
A beloved local law enforcement officer, Sgt. Owen was killed in the line of duty on October 5, 2016. In commemoration of his heroism and service, the Lancaster City Council voted to rename the City’s flagship park after this local hero. The City Council also expressed their strong desire to have a memorial (that was more than just a plaque) constructed in his honor; a public monument that would commemorate Sgt. Owen and the tremendous impact he had on the community for years to come.
Sgt. Owen was quite involved in the community and numerous local youth programs. In an effort to appropriately recognize his life of service through the eyes of the community he so dutifully served, the City partnered with Learn4Life Concept Charter Schools to include their students in the design process. In Summer 2017, the design began, with input from Sgt. Owen’s family and friends incorporated into the creative process to capture his essence and mold it into a powerful artistic representation. The initial design was approved by Sgt. Owen’s family members and Council in Spring 2018. The monument features a statue of a horse without a rider, saddled with backwards boots in the stirrups – an image acknowledging all who have been lost in the line of duty. The statue will be set on a raised concrete platform in the shape of the Sheriff’s star, surrounded by four walls signifying Hope, Community, Youth, and Family. Each wall will be emblazoned with images representing Sgt. Owen’s life and impact on the community.
Financed by the County’s Proposition A funds, the $245,000 grant for the construction of the memorial is estimated to cover the cost of the project in its entirety. The memorial is expected to be completed by this October.