PASCO -- Columbia Basin College's forensic science lab should be named for long-time law enforcement instructor Jim Ownby. That is what 18 active and retired law enforcement officers, a Benton County District Court judge and the president of CBC recommended this week.
For about two decades starting in 1974, Ownby was the sole faculty member for the law enforcement program at Columbia Basin College. He taught and mentored hundreds of students who became law enforcement professionals, many in the Mid-Columbia.
He died in November.
Ownby started his career serving with the military police in Germany, then joined the Walla Walla police. Later, he took a job with the Washington State Patrol in the Twisp area.
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After a leave of absence to earn a master's degree in law enforcement, Ownby served as a trooper in the Tri-Cities and then took the job at CBC.
Frank Murray, communications director for the college, said the trustees seemed to be generally in favor of naming the building after Ownby.
However, the college policy on naming facilities requires CBC President Richard Cummins to appoint a committee to bring recommendations to the board at its February meeting.
If the trustees agree on a name, they likely will vote at their March meeting.