Sergeant Nita Bowen Set to Retire After History Making 29 Year Career, LIVINGSTON, September 15, 2014 - On Saturday (September 13, 2014), a retirement party was held in Livingston at the VFW hall. Sergeant Nita Bowen with the Texas Highway Patrol is set to retire after quietly making history as Texas' first ever female DPS Sergeant. Ever humble and not inclined to be self oriented, "Sarge" (as most call her) didn't want a party, but her troopers weren't going to stand for that. Coordinated by incoming Sergeant, Sam Lattner, the retirement party went over well as a great time was had by all who attended. A Livingston High School Graduate, Bowen Graduated from the DPS Academy in 1985. In less than 10 years she made the rank of Sergeant (1994). In 1997, Bowen returned to her home town as she was assigned to be the head trooper in Polk County. Bowen has served in the counties of: Hidalgo, Orange, Hunt, Harris, Travis, Jefferson, and Polk.
Bowen thrived in her career simply by being herself, and not sitting back, but rather, she strived to improve. In the somewhat macho world of law enforcement, Sarge never tried to be manly but remained true herself as a soft spoken person. Sarge wouldn't blink at asserting her authority, but at the same time would be willing to help most anyone in need, and has the respect the troopers that serve under her leadership.
Fried fish, french fries, hush puppies, iced tea, and dessert were served. As a parting gift, her fellow troopers paid for her duty sidearm .357 magnum, and her M-4 rifle for her to keep. Asked what she'd like to do after a long successful career as a state trooper, Sarge said that she'd like to travel and visit relatives.
Lori Weiss has been Sarge's office assistant since Sarge first returned to Polk County in 1997.
Sergeant Nita Bowen and her Troopers: (L-R) Corporal Ramey Bass, Chad Seamans, Chris Cain, Allen Stanton, Sarge, Donny Akers, Darwon Evans, Kevin Burman
Incoming Sergeant Sam Lattner (himself a longtime Polk County resident) is set to be the new Sergeant in town (Trooper David Morris in background).
Nita and Rita: Sarge's twin sister, Rita, works for the Polk County Sheriff's Office.
Kind words from her Captain: Sarge's Captain, Larry Allen, stated that Nita is one of the kindest persons that he's ever known, and that Nita's very presence would make people feel good.
DPS Helicopter Pilot, Bo Dunkin, dropped in to wish Sarge well in the next phase of her life.
District Judge, Ernie McClendon helped himself to some of the good food.
County Judge Elect, Sydney Murphy attended the gathering (with her grand daughter).
Trooper Darwon Evans (left) and retired Trooper Larry Pitts helped cook food out back (Pitts now serves a Polk County Emergency Management Coordinator).
Goober Wright (left) and Buster Helmer (Helmer is from the Editor's old neighborhood in Houston).
(L - R) Troopers Zach Lenderman, Barett Duren, and Chad Seamans
In keeping with tradition, Sarge was given her service M-4 rifle (Lieutenant Doug Heigley handing her the goods).
In addition to a wooden plaque, Sarge was given a custom metal plaque.
Sarge's younger brother, Lee, gave his sister a hug and a kiss in a moment of emotion.
Sarge has a picture taken with her brothers and sisters.
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