End of Watch: The Rowe Austraw Story

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From the book, “Some Gave All,” coming soon on Amazon.

Glenn Rowe Austraw was born in Denver, Colorado on August 18, 1969, to David and Karen Austraw.

Officer Glenn Rowe Austraw

Rowe, as he was known, wasn’t the kind to let life happen to him. He brought life wherever he went. Growing up, he joined the Boy Scouts, eventually attaining the coveted Eagle Scout status. After high school, he served as a missionary in Brazil. He also attended Florida State University where he graduated with a degree in Criminology.

He knew the direction he was going, or so he thought. Then it happened. He met her. She was all that he ever dreamed of. She changed his life. She was the one. The announcement in the May 12, 1991, edition of the Pensacola News Journal read, “Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gunn, Pace, announce the engagement of their daughter, Krista Leigh Richards, Pace, to Glenn Rowe Austraw, Pensacola, son of Mr. and Mrs. David Austraw, Pensacola. A June 12 wedding is planned.”

In 1995, Rowe fulfilled a dream when he joined the Pensacola Police Department. He served as a cadet his first year and was soon promoted to officer. But that wasn’t enough. In his desire to serve, he also became a scoutmaster and worked with many boys, helping them to better themselves.

Rowe was a model officer. Not only was he intelligent and had an easy-going way about him when dealing with people and their problems, but he was popular with the other officers. Words used by his co-workers were loyal, professional, positive, and likeable. Everyone knew that Rowe would go far in the department. But unlike the case with many officers, no one was upset about Rowe’s talents, abilities and his bright future. He was the kind of guy that you wanted to be promoted because you knew the good he would do for the department. In 1996, he was awarded the Pensacola Police Department Bronze Cross for heroic action in the line of duty. Yep, he was headed places.

Pensacola Police Department’s Bronze Cross Award

On Wednesday, February 26, 1997, Rowe was driving his Ford pickup truck to the George Stone Criminal Justice Training Center for an advanced training class. While he was westbound on Interstate 10 in the inside lane, the driver of a semi-trailer changed lanes from the outside to the inside lane, right into Rowe’s path. Rowe swerved sharply to the left and his pickup truck skidded out of control into the median and began rolling. It rolled into a sign that struck the driver’s side of the vehicle. Rowe, who was wearing a seatbelt, was killed on the scene. The semi-trailer continued, possibly not even aware of what he had done.

The funeral, held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Stake Center, was attended by hundreds. Rowe’s co-workers, who were working by his side a week before, served as pall bearers. He was buried with full police honors.

Rowe was survived by his expectant wife and his young son. His wife later gave birth to his daughter, born on his birthday.

Rest easy, Rowe.


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