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    Bob Cowan Bio

    Robert Cowan, Owner of Cowan Investigations

    Mr. Cowan Established Cowan Investigations, LLC in May of 2016

    Mr. Cowan was appointed to the Jersey City Police Department December 17, 1979. Retiring on October 1, 2014 after close to thirty-five years of service Bob Cowan

    Chief of Police: Bob was the Chief of the 800 officer Jersey City Police Department, the second largest municipal law enforcement agency in the State of New Jersey. During Bob’s tenure crime was reduced by double digits. Bob oversaw all criminal investigations as well as coordinated and assisted investigations involving the FBI, DEA, USMS, HCPO in addition to other local New Jersey Law Enforcement Agencies.

    Chief of Patrol Division: Bob was the Chief of the Patrol Division, a position in which he oversaw 550 police officers and supervisors. As Chief of Patrol Bob was responsible for six police facilities and their respective equipment. Bob created the highly successful “Cease Fire Unit” which doubled the solve rate of non-fatal shootings.

    Deputy Chief: As Deputy Chief in command of the Department in the absence of the Chief of Police, Bob reported directly to the Chief of Police as well as supervising and directing all criminal investigations.

    Captain: As Captain in the City Command Unit assisted and reported directly to the Deputy Chief in Command, Bob was responsible for assuming Command of the Department in the absence of the Deputy Chief

    Lieutenant: As a lieutenant, Bob was the overall commander in charge of up to two Police Districts on the night tour in the absence of the District Commanders.

    Executive Officer: As a lieutenant Bob had also been assigned as Executive Officer (Second in Command) of the East District, supervising scheduling, coordinating with and assisting Detective Commanders in their investigations, attending community meetings with both residents and businesses while receiving and addressing their concerns.

    Sergeant: As a Sergeant, Bob was assigned to various shifts in various police districts as the first line supervisor of patrol officers. Bob was responsible for responding to and making decisions in regard to serious crime calls, Domestic Violence, Child Endangerment, DYFS Matters, Child Custody Disputes as well as any other matters as directed by Command Personnel.

    Police Officer: Bob was appointed to Jersey City Police Department in 1979, after completion of the Police Academy Bob was assigned to the patrol division. As a “radio car” cop Bob responded to all types of radio calls including serious crime calls, Domestic Violence, Child Endangerment, DYFS Matters, Child Custody Disputes as well as any other matters as directed by my supervisor. For a significant period of time I worked plainclothes working street level narcotics and robbery investigations.

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    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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    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.


    • 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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    Social Reviews

    Cowan Investigations Icon Cowan Investigations

    2360 Lakewood Road suite 3 unit 236, Toms River

    5.0 33 reviews

    • Avatar Megan Parker ★★★★★ 2 months ago
      I approached Cowan Investigations from out of state with a delicate situation that needed to be handled in NJ and Liz made me feel at ease and in good hands immediately! Both Liz and Bob reviewed my case and got back to be the same day … More with a great price and additional suggestions to make sure I was satisfied with the planning they had come up with. It was important to me for all parties involved in my case to feel comfortable and Liz and Bob definitely fit the bill! They took the time to gather all the information needed and completely exceeded my expectations. I originally chose to call Cowan Investigations because of the professional website and Bob's credentials, but it was the personal care and service that cemented their agency for me. Thanks again Liz!!
    • Avatar Tommy Musselman ★★★★★ 4 months ago
      I didn't personally have the pleasure of meeting Mr. Cowan but Liz was so incredibly efficient and professional!! Within hrs she had already gotten answers to a question that has tormented me for a long time.
      If you need ANY investigative
      … More work done trust Cowan. This was my 1st time dealing with an investigative service and I was best pleased!! 5 stars all the way! A special thank you to Liz. You're a dear and I will always remember your warmth, sympathy and professionalism. Always.
    • Avatar Anthony S ★★★★★ 8 months ago
      Best of the Best!
      Worked with Bob during his tenure as the former Chief of the Jersey City Police Department. All I can say is that you will be getting what you pay for with this results driven company.
      A leader within the industry with
      … More over 34+ years in law enforcement as well as a proven track record of accomplishments in the field. If I needed a private investigator, Cowan Investigations would be my first choice, hands down.
    • Avatar Rae ★★★★★ a year ago
      I would highly recommend Cowan Investigations. From the time you speak to Liz on the phone until the time Bob is finished with the investigation you will always know what is going on, what is taking place, and what they found. You will … More be provided with detailed information and surveillance. Bob is very well trained in this field and will provide you with outstanding work. Both Bob and Liz are very compassionate and caring people and make you feel comfortable through the whole process. At the end of the investigation you’ll know that you have hired the right people for the job.
    • Avatar Jay White ★★★★★ 10 months ago
      As a retired Deputy Police Chief with the Jersey City Police Department I had the privilege of working with Bob Cowan for over 25 years.
      Bob is an honest and ethical professional who shows empathy towards people in unfortunate situations.
      … More
      Bob’s objective analysis and evaluation of an issue enables him to address the true problem at hand.
      His strong analytical abilities coupled with thorough research and attention to detail make him an ideal private investigator.
      I know his clients will receive a comprehensive detailed report that will stand up in any hearing or court of law.
      Bob is a high caliber dedicated professional who will give it his all to address the issues at hand and achieve results.
    • A Google User ★★★★★ 10 months ago
      As a retired Deputy Police Chief with the Jersey City Police Department I had the privilege of working with Bob Cowan for over 25 years.
      Bob is an honest and ethical professional who shows empathy towards people in unfortunate situations.
      … More
      Bob’s objective analysis and evaluation of an issue enables him to address the true problem at hand.
      His strong analytical abilities coupled with thorough research and attention to detail make him an ideal private investigator.
      I know his clients will receive a comprehensive detailed report that will stand up in any hearing or court of law.
      Bob is a high caliber dedicated professional who will give it his all to address the issues at hand and achieve results.
    • Avatar Sarah V ★★★★★ a year ago
      I have been married for over 25 years, 2 years ago things just started not feeling right, I started having suspicions that my husband was cheating. I felt trapped, I was embarrassed to talk about it with anyone. I put up with feeling … More this way for two years.
      I began researching private investigators because I was fed up with being lied to and deceived, talked to like I was crazy. I called a few investigators but I did not feel comfortable, I felt like I was talking to used car salesmen. Just before I was going to give up I called Cowan Investigations. From the minute I began speaking to Liz Cowan I began to feel comfortable, she was very genuine, caring and knowledgeable on how to proceed. Liz set up a call with Bob who I immediately could tell was very experienced and knew how to proceed.
      Over a 4 day period Bob and Joe uncovered the evidence I needed to confront the lies and other deceptions I was subjected to, which let me make the decisions I needed to make for myself. Above all I was able to regain my self respect by getting the proof I needed.
      From time Liz answered the phone until Bob and Joe finished the investigation, I was overwhelmed by the professionalism and caring they displayed towards me and the investigation.
      Thanks again Liz, Bob and Joe, you’re the best
    • Avatar Fidel Hernandez ★★★★★ a year ago
      If there was a way to give this Gentleman ten stars, I would. Don't be mistaken by the use of the word "gentleman" he is a hound and he zeros in on the minutia of the investigation. He is a real detective with a extensive … More background in law enforcement.
      I thought that I had a really good understanding of my case and then I hired Bob Cowan. He exposed so many things that were hidden in plain sight that it blew my mind and consequently gave me much needed peace of mind.
      From the time he took my case, he kept in constant contact with me. All throughout, he explained things in way that I could understand. He was reassuring, professional and the best guy for the job!
      I am in the unenviable position of knowing what I am saying. It can and is, at times, overwhelming when you have to hire a private investigator. This usually arises from a traumatic experience and the reason why you should surround yourself with someone who knows what this experience fells like.
      I trust Bob Cowan and hope he continues to help others, like he helped me. I am grateful to have been referred to him! Thank you, Sir.
      And yes, I would be remiss if I didn't thank his wife Liz. She took my initial phone call and she knew I needed his help. She was warm and kind. Just what you need when you are faced with these situations...Thank you, Liz.
    • Avatar Susie K ★★★★★ a year ago
      I recently had the need to use a private investigator. After looking at several options, I decided to call Cowan Investigations. The decision to call them turned out to be one of the best decisions I ever made. I really like the fact that … More Mr. Cowan has a law enforcement background and is a former Chief of Police for Jersey City. After my first conversation with Liz Cowan I knew I had called the right people. She made me feel very comfortable when I answered all the questions she needed to get the facts regarding a very complicated situation. Liz is very thorough, caring, and very professional and usually available when I had questions. Liz and Bob make you, their priority. I NEVER had to worry if Mr. Cowan would be working on my case at the time I was promised. He was always at the location, on time, very descrete and went way above and beyond my expectations. I was informed of the progress on a daily basis and over a period of 4-5 days, had enough evidence to prove my case. The reports are very professionally written with dates and time stamped. It says a lot when my lawyer called Bob Cowan and complimented him on the great report he gave to my lawyer, to take to court. I feel the evidence gathered by Cowan Investigations and presented to the judge, by my lawyer, made a huge difference in the judge's decision. I met Mr. Cowan and shook his hand after I won the case. I highly recommend Cowan Investigations and will definitely use them again if needed. Thank you for all your hard work, you are the best!

    Cowan Investigations
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    Hector Vargas
    Hector Vargas
    7 hours ago
    amazing job being done for the community.
    Bill Schaff
    Bill Schaff
    10 hours ago
    We cannot thank Bob and Liz enough for helping us with a matter that was probably outside the realm of their normal practice. They were instrumental in assisting us in reaching out to an unscrupulous used car salesman. The individual wouldn't return our calls and obviously, did not wish to be found.Due to their tireless efforts and many phone calls, we were finally put in touch with him. With their help, the situation was fully resolved! They handled the situation with the utmost care and professionalism. We strongly recommend Cowan Investigations as they are very good at what they do!
    Justin Delaney
    Justin Delaney
    March 18, 2018 ·
    Cowan Investigations
    Based on 1 Reviews
    Fidel H.
    Fidel H.
    2019-11-28 07:20:51
    On this thanksgiving day, I can say that I am very grateful for the peace of mind this detailed investigator gave me. Not only did he provide me with the...