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Bio

Bob Cowan

Work With A New Jersey Private Investigator You Can Trust, Contact Former Jersey City Police Chief Bob Cowan For A free 30 minute consultation.

Bob Cowan Owner Of Cowan Investigations is the former Chief of the Jersey City Police Department with close to thirty-five years experience in New Jersey’s second largest municipality. Bob moved up through the supervisory ranks of the department through a competitive process prior to having been appointed Chief of Police. During his career Bob was never interested in getting the standard 9:00 to 5:00 Monday thru Friday administrative desk job; throughout his career Bob worked in the streets during nights, weekends and holidays. More often then not, if Bob was not the first officer at the scene of crimes or major incidents he was called to the scene in order to make clear and informed decisions in all kinds of incidents while gathering all available information. Bob was the primary and final decision maker in a myriad of incidents such as: domestic violence, child abuse, child endangerment, child custody in addition to overseeing investigations of shootings, aggravated assaults, robberies and narcotics complaints as well as putting in place surveillance to combat and prevent these crimes. Former Chief Cowan is prepared to put his wealth of experience to work for you if you take the first step and contact him for your free consultation.

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Cheating Spouse
Child Custody
Cohabitation Investigations
Surveillance
Background Checks

 

Full Bio

During Bob’s tenure as Chief crime rates were reduced by double-digit percentages in six of the seven major categories of the Uniform Crime Reporting system, including a 25% reduction in non-fatal shootings. He decentralized four of the seven Street Crime Units into the four patrol districts, which elevated the production and accountability of supervisors and the officers assigned to those units. While Bob was the Chief he implemented a new sick policy which consisted of aggressive employee monitoring including the use of the Internal Affairs Unit to conduct surveillances of employees suspected of abuse; employee sick time was drastically reduced.

As Chief of Police Bob was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the department, which consisted of eight hundred plus sworn personnel while he also assisted in the management of over one hundred civilian employees. The departments Internal Affairs Unit worked directly under former Chief Cowan and reported directly to his office; the Internal Affairs Unit processed and investigated all major disciplinary and administrative complaints lodged against personnel and was responsible for the forwarding of complaints that were of a criminal nature to the County Prosecutor’s Office. In addition, the Special Investigations Unit worked directly out of the Chief’s Office, this unit being responsible for the most sensitive of investigations as well as the providing of executive protection for the Jersey City Mayor. Several members of this Special Investigations Unit were assigned to outside agencies, such as; The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force, The Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Marshal Service and the Hudson County Prosecutors Office. Former Chief Cowan coordinated with and assisted in investigations with the following outside agencies: United States Attorney’s Office, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Drug Enforcement Agency, United States Marshall Service and the Hudson County Prosecutors Office.

Additionally, as the Chief of Police Bob was often required to utilize his public speaking skills while addressing residential and business community groups as well as attending and making oral presentations at City Council Caucus Meetings.

As Chief of Police, he was tasked with Policy and Procedural Development, Crisis Management, Operational Improvement, Community Event Coordination, Crime Trend Analysis as well as Staffing, Training and Resource Allocation. During Bob’s tenure as leader of the Jersey City Police Department he was responsible for guiding the department in successfully policing multiple complex and high profile operations such as:

  • Planning, coordinating and implementing the policing of the
    Former Chief Cowan with his boxer dog Zeus at the St. Patrick's Day Parade.

    Former Chief Cowan with his boxer dog Zeus at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

    New Jersey Attorney General’s Fugitive Safe Surrender Program where over 4,000 persons were processed on outstanding warrants.

  • Planning, coordinating and implementing security related to Super Bowl XLVIII, where the Jersey City Police Department was responsible for the safety of Jersey City residents, fans and the security and movements of both participating teams which were staying at separate hotels in Jersey City over an eight day period.
  • Planning, coordinating and implementing the police security for the annual all day Liberty State Park Fourth of July Festivities, which were expected to draw crowds of up to 150,000 persons.
  • Planning, coordinating and implementing the traffic mitigation plan in response to the two year closure of the North Bound Pulaski Skyway, due to the potentiality of Jersey City being used as a detour for up to 40,000 vehicles a day.

    Deputy Chief of Police – Chief of Patrol
  • Exercised line command over 550 + sworn and civilian personnel encompassing Captains, Lieutenants, Sergeants, Police Officers and Civilians.
  • Supervised the operation of the day-to- day functions of the four Patrol Districts, Emergency Services Unit and Special Patrol Bureau.
  • Oversaw the investigation and scheduling of personnel complaints, equipment procurement and deployment.
  • Initiated the creation and development of the Jersey City Police Department’s “Cease Fire Unit”, this unit was an elite group of detectives and a supervisor whose sole function was to investigate all non-fatal shootings, the solve-rate for non-fatal shootings doubled from 23% to 45%

 

         Captain/Deputy Chief, City Command

  • In the absence of the Chief, Bob was responsible for command of all on duty personnel both sworn and civilian on the evening and midnight tours often totaling in excess of one hundred, i.e. Patrol Personnel assigned to the four Districts, Emergency Services, Detectives, Street Crime Units, Crime Scene Personnel as well as the Central Communications Room.
  • Responsible to interact with outside agencies as well as External Jersey City Agencies in order to coordinate and obtain after business hours services.
  • Responsible to coordinate and direct the investigations of all on duty detectives and their supervisors whom reported directly to him.
  • Responsible to ensure all emergencies whether large scale or otherwise were responded to with the resources needed both internal and external while ensuring appropriate notifications were made to the Chief of Police.

    Lieutenant, Patrol Division

  • Executive Officer and second in command of the East Patrol District. Duties included personnel scheduling, investigation and resolution of minor personnel complaints from the public, implementation and coordination of special district police operations in addition to the overseeing of the Off Duty Detail Program. Bob was also frequently assigned the function of attending and speaking at district community meetings and creating a police response to address community concerns.
  • Night Tour Commander in the West District the second busiest patrol district in the State of New Jersey. In this position Bob supervised fifteen to thirty sworn personnel compromised of sergeants and uniform police officers as well as coordinating with and assisting detective commanders at crime scenes. During this period he was responsible for the efficient and proper functioning of the patrol district during his tour of duty, reporting directly to the Deputy Chief/Captain in command of the city.Sergeant, Patrol Division:

 

  • As Patrol Sergeant Bob worked on the night shift in the various busy police districts in Jersey City in where he was responsible for the direct supervision of district patrol officers.Police Officer, Patrol Division:

    Upon graduating from the Police Academy in 1980, Bob was assigned to radio car patrol on the night tour in Jersey City’s busy South and North District’.

 

Jersey City Police Unions Presents Former Chief Robert Cowan with a recognition for his 34 years of service to the citizens of Jersey City.

Jersey City Police Unions Presents Former Chief Robert Cowan with a recognition for his 34 years of service to the citizens of Jersey City.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  • Honorable Mention: “Highest Level Award Within Department”– Jersey City Policy Dept 2013
  • Supervisory Acknowledgement: “Recognized for outstanding leadership in the performance of one’s duties– Jersey City Policy , Hostage Incident (2007 Deputy Chief O’Donell Ret.)
  • World Trade Center Award: “First Responder”– Jersey City Policy Dept – Sept 11, 2011
  • Honorable Mention**: “Highest Level Award Within Department”– Jersey City Policy Dept 2008*
  • Honorable Legion Award: “Outstanding Police Officer”– New Jersey Honor Legion 1998
  • Proclamation Acknowledgement: “Excellent Police Service”– Wall Township 1998

**The Star-Ledger Archive
COPYRIGHT © The Star-Ledger 1996
Date: 1996/12/30 Monday Page: 014 Section: NEWS Edition: FINAL Size: 635 words

Cop saves woman from river suicide leap

By Russell Ben-Ali
Star-Ledger Staff
Despondent and disheveled, she spoke of spies coming after her and seemed bent on ending her life with a plunge into the Hudson River.
And for a minute it seemed like the woman might succeed. But Jersey City Police Sgt. Robert Cowan was just as determined to save her.
"You just figure she's somebody's sister, somebody's mother, she's important to somebody," Cowan said yesterday, one day after he dove into the frigid waters of the Hudson River and pulled the woman to safety.
On Saturday, Cowan managed to shake off the frigid river temperatures and tread water for 10 minutes while holding the woman with one arm. Above him on a pier near Exchange Place in downtown Jersey City was a battery of emergency medical technicians and police officers, including his brothers Thomas and James, who worked to pull the pair out.
After attempts to extend coats, a fishing rod and battery cables failed, the rescue team pulled the unconscious woman and Cowan to safety using a long rope.
The victim, a 28-year-old Elizabeth woman who had been reported missing to police, regained consciousness but remained hospitalized yesterday at the Jersey City Medical Center. Cowan was treated there for hypothermia and released.
At the East District stationhouse of the Jersey City Police Department, where Cowan and two of his three police officer brothers are assigned, Sgt. Neil Donnelly said Cowan's colleagues "are all impressed, they're proud. It's not every day that something like this happens. He took a lot of risks by going into that cold water."
Even his daughters, Amanda, 9, and Brittany, 5, "got a kick out of all this," Cowan, who lives in Wall Township, said, describing their excitement after the rescue.
Yet Cowan played down his own heroism, preferring instead to joke about the fishing rod that detached after it was handed to him in the water and the fisherman who had loaned it to police and then screamed, "What did you do to my rod," as it floated away down the Hudson. He also teased his brother, Police Officer Thomas Cowan, who had looped a knot in the rescue rope.
"I thought one of the fishermen (on the pier) had tied the knot," laughed Cowan. "If I had known Tommy tied it I wouldn't have felt so comfortable."
According to Thomas Cowan, his brother felt "like a big fish," as they pulled him ashore. On a more serious note, he said his brother "couldn't even feel his hands at this point, the water was so cold. Still, he wrapped (the rope) under her arms and around her chest. I'm just grateful that he was able to maintain his presence of mind and endurance to be able to keep both the victim and himself afloat in such cold temperatures."
For Cowan, the incident began about 8:45 a.m. when a passerby flagged him down while he was on routine patrol near the pier area and warned him about a woman threatening suicide. As he approached the woman, she told him about spies coming after her and pointed to her back, indicating that she had been shot there.
She then straddled the rail and tried to jump in as Cowan grabbed her. About 50 feet to the south, two fisherman sat with their lines in the water.
"I remember thinking, `One of these guys will soon be behind me, grabbing her.'" They weren't and the woman soon slipped from his grasp.
Cowan quickly took off his gun belt, boots and sweater as he waved off his brothers and Officer Patrick McCarthy as they prepared to dive into the water. Then he plunged in and grabbed the woman, who was floating face down and had drifted about 15 feet toward Manhattan.
To Cowan, who says he runs six miles a day, lifts weights and occasionally takes mile-long swims at a Wall Township health club, it was not that big a deal. "I'm in shape. If I jumped in there, I knew I was going to come out."

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