Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Thomas M. Bowen

Columbus Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Sunday, March 11, 1984

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Thomas M. Bowen

Rest in peace Officer Bowen.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

April 14, 2019

Thomas was just like a brother to me in High School. Dad and I ran a car lot in Columbus and Tom would stop bye to see us. He and I talked about joining together. I feel bad that I didn't, I often think if I had been there, Lonnie Botts would not be in prison. God rest your soul pal. Danny Williams Baker High School BHS 75.

Retired State Security Officer
State Of Alabama

April 7, 2016

"We in this world today.....shall be remembered....
We few....We happy few.....We band of Brothers.....
For he today....whom sheds his blood with me.....
Shall be....My Brother......Lest Ye say it proudly....
We are but warriors for the working day." Shakespear

I know your assignment on those golden streets of Heaven have been nothing short of wonderful....It was a very tragic day when you were taken from us.....I was serving in the Motor Squad (Motor#11) and remember this day as if it was have been and continue to be missed upon this mortal earth but my comfort comes in knowing that I WILL see you again....say hello to Keith for me.......God Speed until we meet again, My Brother......

Lt. Mark D. (Mad Dawg) Starling, Retired
Columbus Police Dept., Columbus, Ga.

April 9, 2015

Spanky was one of the finest officers I have ever known. Unfortunately, I also know Lonnie Botts, the piece of trash who shot and killed Spanky.

Lonnie had robbed the Bombay Bicycle Club, a restaurant were he once worked. He crashed his car into a tree in someone's yard after a high speed chase by Spanky. Being the person that he was, Spanky went to check on the driver, disregarding his personal safety in the confusion, to see if the suspect was hurt in the violent collision with the tree. When he got to the window of Lonnie's car Lonnie opened fire, hitting Spanky in the forehead with two shots.

The DA offered Lonnie a plea bargain, because the case against him was so weak, sparing him the death penalty.
I had once considered Lonnie a friend. He had been my commanding officer in JROTC at Jordan High School.

Lonnie had worked with my wife at Coca-Cola Bottling before I helped him get him a job in maintenance at Pratt and Whitney. After about a year he was fired for fighting. I then helped him get on at TRW, working with my mother-in-law, after he was fired from Pratt and Whitney. The only reason I am adding this brief history of Lonnie is so it is known how close I ONCE was to Spanky's murderer. At the time I could not comprehend one of my friends being murdered by another friend. That being said, I think Lonnie should have gotten the death penalty. Obviously I no longer consider him a friend. ANYONE who kills a law enforcement officer should get the death penalty. I was contacted by Lonnie's attorney to see if I would be a character witness for him. If you leave out all the profanity, all I said was an emphatic "NO!"

Please excuse me for this being so long. I just want everyone to know what a fine officer Spanky was. He lost his life because he was such a caring officer. Columbus, Georgia, and the nation lost a fine officer that night.

David Phillips

August 30, 2014

I was honored to send off my 'No Parole' letter today for you, my brother in blue. Thank you for your sacrifice and may you forever, rest in peace. You are a true AMERICAN HERO !!!

My prayers continue to be with your family, friends and co-workers.


Sgt. Mitch Cheselka (Retired)
Orange County Sheriff, California
Polk County Sheriff, Oregon

March 17, 2014

My wife and I mailed our No Parole letter today. God bless your family.

Special Agent #8268
US Homeland Security Investigations, Phoenix, AZ

March 13, 2014

Officer Bowen, I never knew you but I always remember fellow officers speaking of spanky, I was young when u passed. I only just found this memorial page and called my mom to let her know because her brother, Billy Watson, is on here to. As I read her reflections off her brothers page, we go to see about the other officers such as you, and I continue reading to her. She then tells me that my dad, Jack Schaaf, who worked with you that night, told you to "be careful Spanky, it's bad out there tonight." I know you did your best. R.I.P. OFFICER BOWENS, my dad is with you once again. I hope u all are behaving.


December 4, 2012

Spanky -- still think of you and all those calls we went on together -- you were a Great American and will always be missed!

COL Barry Creed, AUS, retired
Untied States Army

May 11, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Bowen. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

March 24, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 28th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever Your family is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your friends for sharing their memoireis and devotion to you through their reflections.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

March 11, 2012

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends on this anniversary of your EOW. You will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

March 11, 2010

We are sorry for your Loss. My family has also experienced the loss of a loved one in the line of Duty. This was sent to us, We found this helpful. Hope this helps your family as well.

My Dearest Family and Friends

Somethings I'd like to say but first of all to let you know that I arrived okay.

I'm writing this from Heaven where I dwell with Our Lord above. where there's no more tears or sadness just eternal Love. Please don't be unhappy because I'm out of sight, remember that I'm with you every morning,noon and Night.

The Day I had to leave you when my Life on earth was through God picked me up and hugged me and He said I welcome you.
It's good to have you back again, You were missed while you were gone. As for your Dearest Family they'll be here later on.
I need you here so badly as part of my big plan. Theres so much we have to do to help our Moral Man.
Then God gave me a list of things that He wished for me to do, and foremost on that list of mine is to watch and care for you.
I'll be beside you everyday and through out the years, And when your sad. I'm standing there to wipe away your tears.
When You lie in bed at night the day's chores put to flight God and I are close you in the middle of the night.
When you think of my life on Earth and all the loving years, because your only human they are bound to bring you tears.

Please don't be afraid to cry, it does releive the pain.

I wish that I could tell you all that God has planned, But if I were to tell you You wouldn't understand.One thing is for certain, though my life on Earth is over I'm closer to you now than I ever was before.

To My many Friends, Trust God knows what is best.I'm still not far away from you I'm just beyond the crest.

So, If you can help somebody who is in sorrow or in pain, then you can say to God at night my day was not in vain.
And now I am contented that with my life. it was worth while,Knowing as I passed along the way I made somebody smile.
If you meet somebody who is down and feeling low just lend a hand and pick him up as on your way you go.
When Your walking down the street and you've got me on your mind just know Im walking in your footstep only a half a step behind.
And if you feel a gentel breeze or wind upon your face thats me just giving you a great big hug or just a soft embrace.
I will always love you from the land way up above We'll be in touch again soon
PS God sends his Love.


December 17, 2008

Thanks Spanky for our good times and the friendship we had. I can still remember us riding together in the black and white.
God bless you. We will meet again in a better place.

Fred Franklin,
Former CPD Officer.

Fred Franklin

December 16, 2008



April 7, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

October 8, 2007

Sometimes you get the bad guy and sometimes he
gets you.
The shot that killed you also killed a part of us.
It killed a part of your family, both at work and at home.
It killed your dreams, your hopes, your future.
But it must not kill our determination to make this
world a better place or our will to make a difference.
America's streets must be running red with blood with
all the deaths of leos. Every time I come here to leave
a reflection, I feel like my words get emptier and emptier. I am truly sorry for your loss...a loss too great
for words.
Lynn Kole
Washington State

April 12, 2007

You are not forgotten.

Former Police Officer (Dist.Hghts. MD)

March 11, 2007


I wish you hadn't come to tell me bye that night. You would probably still be alive. I'll forever have the guilt of knowing that.

Your life was happy. You were getting married, and you were going to become a state trooper. It was your last night on that shift. It shouldn't have been your last night here.

You'll never get to have the life you and your love planned. You'll never get to see your babies born.

When I close my eyes, I can still see you as you were that night. A beautiful, positive person, whose life was just beginning.

We hugged, then in a few minutes, you were shot.

When I die, I know you'll be standing with open arms to welcome me. That keeps me going.

You were the most honest, generous, loving person I've ever known.

I'll always love you my friend, and I will forever grieve for you.

February 9, 2006

The policeman stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"

The policeman squared his shoulders and said,
"No lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry a badge
can't always be a saint."

I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.

But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at time I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.

If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't I'll understand.

There was a silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgement of his god.

"Step forward now, policeman,
You've born your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in hell"


July 3, 2005

We miss you and love you Spanky.

SA Edward P. Sutcliff

April 12, 2005

The years do not ease the pain. You practical jokes always kept everyone at ease. You are missed daily. I will always uphold the character and integrity standards that you set and lived in your professional life, as well as, your personal life. Until we meet again. I close with "Thank You" and Godspeed.

March 2, 2005

May God's eternal comforting hand bless you and your family

Columbus Police

July 26, 2004

You are missed daily. I will always honor this uniform that you wore so proudly. God Bless, Brother.

Columbus Ga. Police

January 1, 2004

Rest in peace Brother, You will never be forgotten.


October 17, 2003

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