RPSO Detective Fundraiser for Hearing Aids - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

RPSO Detective Fundraiser for Hearing Aids

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 ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - Living and working with a disability is a challenge many face everyday. 

Here in Rapides Parish -- there is one Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office detective who's handling his situation without complaint. He is deaf, and works with hearing aids. Though he is performing well, he does need your help. So, his fellow officers have put together a chicken dinner fundraiser. 

When speaking about Detective James Owens, his coworkers use terms like attentive, hardworking, and passionate. 

"He does dedicate himself to the people of this parish, he’s very thorough in his investigations, never late always on time, he just goes out there & gets the job done," said Detective Ronald Rollins. 

Owens was unable to hear until the age of five, when he got his first set of hearing aids. But he always knew he wanted to be a Police officer. Despite his disability, he's been with the RPSO since 2001,working various cases while wearing his hearing aids. 

"He didn’t work close to town where backup was close, he worked in the deep parts of Boyce, Flatwoods and I was always concerned he wouldn't be able to hear something he needed to hear; but he always overcame that in some way," said Lt. Tommy Carnline.

"I always try to maintain a professional attitude in everything I do, I come in early, I work extra duty details when my schedule allows," says Det. Owens. 

Though his disability presents challenges at times, it's clear that Owens does not let it hinder his ability to do his job.

"I have overcome a lot of obstacles. While I have some hearing loss, my sense of smell is quite a bit stronger than the average person. I'm able to smell marijuana and other chemicals that may be related to narcotics," said Detective Owens.

He's worn the same hearing aids for 12 years now, and unfortunately, insurance will not cover the cost of new ones. His RPSO family is now stepping in, by hosting a chicken dinner fundraiser, to offset the costs.

"We’re very proud of him and we’re glad that we can come together as an RPSO family to do this for him," said Lt. Carnline.

Detective Owens has taken part in fundraisers for his fellow officers before, and he's now humbled to find himself on the receiving end. 

"I was kinda shocked when the told me they were going to do that. It made me feel good because at RPSO we’re all a big family. I’ve had nothing but love and support from my fellow officers and supervisors," said Owens.

The new hearing aids will have bluetooth capability, a technology that Owens says will help him do his job even better.

"It’s gonna take me a few days to get used to the new sound quality but its supposed to be a whole lot better than what I have now."

The Sheriff's office will be taking orders until 4:30 p.m. Thursday for Friday's chicken dinner. Officers will be delivering orders of five plates or more, or you can pick up your food at the RPSO Main office between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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