In Memory of Sergeant LaShonda Owens
North Carolina Officer Dies from COVID
Officials in North Carolina were saddened to announce to residents that they had lost a local officer to the coronavirus. Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have realized that certain occupational groups have a higher risk of contracting the illness. One of these groups has been all those who work as first responders, including law enforcement. We lost more than 400 officers in 2020 to the pandemic.
On Thursday, March 18, 2021, Sergeant LaShonda Owens passed away due to the virus’s complications. Owens was a 41-year-old mother of two children. Contact tracing led officials to determine that she most likely contracted the virus through her service with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. Her most recent assignment had been in the Northampton County Jail.
Sgt. Owens received treatment for the coronavirus at the UNC Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was born in 1979 in Halifax County, North Carolina.
Northampton County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant LaShonda Owens had just begun her career in law enforcement. She had served for over four years with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. Located in the county seat of Jackson, North Carolina, the current elected sheriff is Jack E. Smith, who was elected in 2014.
Northampton County was initially formed from a part of Bertie County in 1741. The county was named for James Compton, the 5th Earl of Northampton. Officers that work for the NCSO are responsible for enforcing state and federal laws in an area that has an area of 551 square miles. They serve and protect an estimated 20,000 residents in the community.
The NCSO is a smaller law enforcement agency, but it also maintains the Northampton County Jail. Sgt. Owen’s last assignment was in the jail area, which recently had an outbreak of the coronavirus. The department shared its vision for the future of law enforcement of Northampton County. “Our vision of Community Oriented Policing is anchored by the idea of establishing and maintaining a partnership with the community we serve.”
COVID19 has ravaged the entire world. Families have been left lost to the pandemic costs—loss of loved ones, loss of financial support, and finding loss of emotional support. Sergeant LaShonda leaves behind her fiancé, two sons, father, siblings, and many extended family members. It will take the great effort of supporting extended family, neighbors, and other law enforcement officials to see that these children reach their full potential in life.
The Lititz Borough Police Department shared their condolences online with the law enforcement and local community. “The LBPD is mourning the death of Sergeant LaShonda Owens of the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office. Sergeant Owens died on March 18, 2021, from complications as the result of contracting COVID-19. Please join us in remembering this fallen hero.”
Genesee Valley Concerns of Police Survivors posted their shared grief on their Facebook page. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Owens, her family, and coworkers.”
Elijah Gatling, a local minister, posted a moving tribute video to Sgt. Owens. He included the following verse. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 Corinthians 5:1.”