Barrow named interim police chief

May. 28, 2013 @ 06:57 PM

Ray Griffin expressed confidence. Capt. Marcus Barrow said he was humbled.

On Tuesday, the city manager named the Zebulon native and veteran of nearly 15 years in the Henderson Police Department as the interim chief. Keith Sidwell, chief since January 2007, will move into retirement at the end of the business day on Friday.

“I’m deeply humbled by the news, and the opportunity that was given to me,” Barrow said. “It was unexpected somewhat. I didn’t really know what direction they were going to go in. But in talking with Ray and the chief, I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s a tremendous opportunity, but I’m willing to take it on.”

Barrow will lead a department with 51 sworn officers. Staff was notified through a memorandum just after lunch on Tuesday.

His duties begin on Friday evening.

“I’m going to be maintaining the things the chief has started, the property management group, the major implementations he’s put in place,” Barrow said. “The radio show, I’m looking forward to that. I’ve got a few things I’ll look at implementing, but no significant changes at this time.”

“He’s proven himself to be dependable, capable and able to step in and fill in for the chief,” Griffin said. “I believe he can help us through the interim period.”

Barrow started with the department in August 1998. His steady progression includes promotions to police officer II in 2000, police officer III in 2003, sergeant in 2005, lieutenant in 2007, captain of Services Division in 2010 and captain of Operations Division in 2012.

He’s served as a field training officer, worked in the Investigative Division, with Special Enforcement Unit and served as accreditation manager for Commission of Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies certification.

“The men and women here respect him a great deal,” Sidwell said. “He leads by example. He is out in the community, and he is a visible presence. His leadership style is very much hands-on, participatory management style. He truly, truly takes ownership of this town.

“He will do very well. I have the utmost confidence in him. He could lead any PD in North Carolina. I’m just glad that he’s here.”

Barrow is a 1998 graduate of Vance-Granville Community College, the same year he received his Basic Law Enforcement certification. In 2009, he earned his Advanced Law Enforcement certificate and attended the Administrative Officers’ Management Program at N.C. State University.

“Barrow has had progressive and positive growth in the city,” Griffin said. “He’s taken advantage of the opportunities.”

In a prepared statement released Wednesday, Griffin said Barrow would continue to work in the numerous partnerships created by Sidwell. He expressed confidence in his leadership for the department and interaction with the community.

“He knows a lot of people in town,” Griffin said. “He knows the community leadership both formal and informal, and he has a good rapport with people. Particularly in an interim position, that will serve the department and him well. He’s a smart young man and a capable young man.”

Griffin said the timeframe for a permanent chief has yet to be determined.

“Once we get through the budget process, we’ll start work on the process for recruitment and selection,” Griffin said. “I’d like to think maybe in July we’re able to bring a firm in to work with us for a regional search. In regional, I’m talking southeast United States, someone affirmed in police executive recruitment, and established in running assessment centers to carry us through that process.”


Contact the writer at awooten@hendersondispatch.com.