Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow Talks Crime, Local Collaborations

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Henderson Police Chief Marcus Barrow was on Thursday’s edition of WIZS’ Town Talk program to discuss his collaboration with other law enforcement departments as well as to provide some reassuring statistics related to crime in the local area.

Barrow, who has been involved with various divisions within the Henderson Police Department for the last 20 years, said his long-standing working relationship and friendship with newly elected Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame further assists the collaboration between the two offices.

“The Sheriff and I have had a good relationship – a friendship – since I started working here in 1998,” Barrow said. “We have a mutual respect for one another and our collaborations [since Brame became sheriff] are just like we picked up where we left off.”

The two meet weekly to discuss the goings-on in their respective divisions, though Barrow admits “sometimes we just talk about life and provide that support to each other.”

Both Barrow and Brame have disclosed to WIZS that they also have a good working relationship with Mike Waters, district attorney for the 9th Judicial District which includes Vance, Granville, Franklin, Warren and Person counties.

“I’ve had a close relationship with DA Waters since the onset. I made it a priority to get to know him and to be in his office as much as possible.”

Since Waters’ time as DA, Barrow said has seen a noticeable increase in both the collaboration with detectives and departments and the number of cases tried. “We are making some really good decisions on whether cases need to stay here locally in the state court system or go federal.”

According to Barrow, the recent increase in homicide convictions alone shows that cases are being tried more effectively. “I think our numbers show that we are tough on crime. Our use of the federal system proves that we are extremely tough on crime.”

In 2018, Barrow reports that the area had 39 federal indictments and 47 executed drug search warrants. “I think they are going to bust those drug numbers wide open this year. We don’t report on all of them because they are not all so news-worthy, but I believe [the drug unit] has executed 7-8 so far this year.”

The two larger HPD drug busts that have been in the news recently include arrests made at residents on Hamilton and State Street in Henderson. Both involved various drug charges including possession of cocaine, heroin and Ecstasy in addition to the seizure of money and weapons.

While such news can make residents worry about the safety of the community, Barrow said that crime rates are actually at a 25-year low, with 2017 being the lowest year on recent record.

When looking at statistics, Barrow said it is important to remember that while crime is often unpredictable, high crime areas are often known and “hot-spot mapped” to ensure officers are spending their time where they can best keep residents safe.

Barrow also said that crime, especially crime sprees that occur within days of each other such as break-ins, are often related and can usually be traced back to the same 1-2 suspects.

When asked if he personally felt safe in the community, Barrow responded “absolutely.” He elaborated by saying that he moved his mother, a life-long resident of Zebulon, to Henderson last year and would not have done so if he did not feel she would be safe.

Upon his recommendation, Barrow’s sister also moved to the area and is now a teacher in the school system.

Encouraged by the strengthened collaborations between law enforcement offices, decreases in crime levels and the growth of Henderson’s business segment, Barrow said he is glad to call Henderson home.

“I’m proud of this city; I love this place!”

To hear the interview in its entirety, please click here.

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