Barrow promoted to chief of police in Henderson

Dec. 19, 2013 @ 10:52 PM

Marcus Barrow’s rise through the Henderson Police Department has reached the highest level.

Thursday he was named chief of police by Ray Griffin, the city manager, after a search attracting nearly 40 applications from inside and outside of North Carolina. In the end of many measures, Barrow always topped the list.

“I am where I am because of the people that surround me,” said Barrow, formerly a captain who will take over for retired chief Keith Sidwell.

Barrow quoted Proverbs 27:17: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

And he said many influences have shaped his 37 years. Earliest formations are credited to his late father, he noted the guidance of chiefs Glenn Allen and Sidwell and he was especially complimentary of the members of the department.

“Your surround yourself with good people, capable people, both externally and internally, they make you better,” Barrow said.

Griffin said use of an assessment center was purposeful for analyzing the five finalists and reinforcing thoughts in the final stages. He also credited Sidwell for setting up the possibility of a successor from within the department.

“Marcus did extremely well. He exhibited strong leadership, the traits necessary to develop staff,” Griffin said. “He exhibited confidence. He exhibited the ability to listen to and work with people, and in his interimship, he’s demonstrated that on a day to day basis.

“When all of the discussions were finished, and we did analysis, he rose to the top as the best candidate to meet our needs.”

In a statement announcing his decision Thursday afternoon, Griffin said Barrow had been an active interim chief rather than a mere gatekeeper.

“That was really impressive,” Griffin said. “It was noticed in the community, in the department and certainly in my office.”

Names of other candidates were not released, per an agreement during applications. No members of the assessment team were announced, other than the two participating elected city leaders.

Mayor Pete O’Geary and councilman George Daye participated, along with five other members of the community in the team of 17 assessors. Eight other various workers in city government were involved in the process with at least partial knowledge of the candidates’ identity, and all were binded by a confidentiality agreement.

Barrow is a native of Zebulon and has been with the department since December of 1998. He was hired as an officer, and progressed as a detective, sergeant, lieutenant and captain. He has served in both the operations and services divisions, including as a lieutenant and captain in each.

He earned an associate’s degree in criminal justice technology from Vance-Granville Community College. Griffin said Barrow has plans to complete his bachelor’s degree.

An official swearing-in ceremony is planned for early January.

Griffin confirmed the city will pay Barrow $71,000 annually. If he has satisfactory performance through probation periods, his salary would increase $1,000 after six months and $1,500 after 12 months. Completion of his bachelor’s degree would earn another 5 percent increase, or approximately $3,675.

Sidwell, contacted Thursday evening, said the choice was solid and called Barrow an excellent communicator. He said Barrow’s father taught him to leave things in a better way than he found them, starting when they visited parks when he was young and he picked up trash before leaving.

“He cares so much about the citizens of Henderson, and he has shown that through his dedication, his loyalty and his integrity,” Sidwell said. “The one thing I can guarantee the people of Henderson is the people will never have to worry about his ethics, morals or values. Marcus only knows one way, and that is far above what most people expect.

“He is a good man. And above all else, not talking about a cop, not talking about a chief, talking about a human being, he is a good man.”

“He was a big part of my life,” Barrow said of his father. “He was always there for me, very supportive of everything I did. He passed away a month after he pinned my captain’s badge on my chest. I hate he’s not there in person and body, but I know he’s watching.”

 

Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.