Where Are They Now? Meet Your Neighbor, John Lowry

Becky Campbell • Sep 30, 2018 at 6:11 PM

It’s only been six years since former John Lowry retired as Johnson City police chief after a decade in the position, and while things in his life go a little slower these days he’s still a busy man.

When he retired at 59 years old, Lowry, now 65, said he planned to spend as much time fishing as he could, and he has but he’s also dabbled in a few other things as well.

“About the first year (after retiring) I said, ‘I’m going to be retired,’” Lowry said recently. “But it hit me that if I didn’t do something, I was just going to rust.”

That’s when he took a friend up on an opportunity to teach courses to Army soldiers in mass casualty response, and he also does a lot of driving moving vehicles for Johnson City Ford.

“When somebody wants to buy a car that’s at another dealership, we go get it,” he said. That job has taken him all across the U.S., which has helped fulfill his intent to travel after retiring. Lowry has also taken lengthy trips to places like Yellowstone National Park and Maine.

Lowry also had a custom boat built for the river fishing he loves so much. 

He said he’s been approached by people in the community to run for various local offices, but “I really don’t have the desire to do that. I’m not going to do something halfway,” and he’s enjoying life too much right now to make that type of commitment.

“I’m trying to enjoy every day the good Lord will give me and make the most of it,” he said.

Lowry said he thoroughly enjoyed his 34-year career at JCPD — the last 10 as chief — and he misses the camaraderie and family that law enforcement provided him, but he also knew in 2012 that it was time to hand over the reins.

“There are things that have happened .... the public at large seems to have a negative connotation of police officers, and I hope it’s the minority and not the majority,” he said. I don’t think the officers are given credit for the good things they do .... for all the good things an officer does, you take one bad thing, it wipes away all the good they’ve done.”

The former chief hasn’t lost his worry for young officers in today’s law enforcement, and he misses parts of the job, but in today’s political climate he’d probably not become a police officer.

“I worry about young officers ... instead of acting as they were trained, sometimes they might react. You live by what you train and there’s no more truth in law enforcement than that,” he said.

If there’s any advice Lowry could give current city leaders, it’s the same motto he’s always lived by — “Make Johnson City the best place and safest place it can be for all of us to live, work and raise our families.”


Johnson City Press Videos