Kevin Lowry: From Thief to Chief

By Rebecca Hoey ~ Kevin Lowry, an Ocean Beach resident of 17 years, held a book signing at The Landing at Ocean Beach on Aug. 12, for his new book, “From Thief to Chief,” which was released on Dec. 24, 2020. The story takes readers through Lowry’s life journey, which had turbulent beginnings. He grew up in a housing apartment complex in Flushing, Queens. His mother, a junkie, and his father, a drunk, had a mutually abusive relationship. Lowry sought out comfort and connection and found it on the streets with his childhood friends, who wound up creating a gang they called “The Family.”Lowry’s memoir recounts how difficult it was being the only white kid in the gang. He was arrested twice as a teen, and committed gang-related crimes before realizing, “It was time to bail out!” How? You will have to read the book and see. Steadfast in his intent to reverse his life’s direction, he obtained jobs as an elevator operator and as a security guard while attending college, and ultimately earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. John’s University, then a master’s degree in criminal justice from C.W. Post. In 1982, he became a patrol officer with Nassau County Police Department.Over the course of 26 years on the force, Lowry worked his way up to three-star chief of police, which is the second highest uniformed position in the 3,500-member department. He then pursued his law degree at St. John’s University by attending night school. Now retired from the force for over 10 years and practicing law, he remains humble by making it crystal clear that he owes “a great debt of gratitude to the Nassau County Police Department” for giving him that chance years ago.Lowry worked on his book for a decade, but hesitated to finish it, wanting to spare his children, especially his son, some of the details during their formative years. “Most kids never climb out of the hole I dug when I was a teen, but I couldn’t expect him to realize that,” explains Lowry.He then saw his opportunity to give back during the pandemic. “I saw the hardship that people were enduring by not being able to pay bills or buy food. I got the idea to complete the book and donate the proceeds from my book to Island Harvest [Food Bank],” he explained. “I knew it was time to pull the trigger and finish the book.”The book is available at Kline’s in Ocean Beach, as well as online at Amazon and Bookbaby.