Henderson honored as Brookhaven’s 1st black police chief

Published 8:28 am Monday, February 26, 2024

Arlustra “Pap” Henderson Jr. was recently honored by the NAACP Brookhaven/Lincoln County Youth Council (#5943) in recognition of having been the first black Chief of Police for the City of Brookhaven. Henderson retired as police chief in 2013 at the end of a 43-year career with the Brookhaven Police Department.

Henderson was hired as a patrolman June 1, 1970, and rose through the ranks over the following 31 years. He was elected in 2001 as chief by a landslide in the Democratic Primary. He was re-elected in 2005 and 2009 without opposition.

“It was a blessing. I love this town, and I certainly love this job,” Henderson said upon his retirement. “I’m certainly thankful to the people of Brookhaven and Lincoln County for the support.”

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Most importantly, Henderson said he would not have survived those years without God. “You’ve got to have faith.”

Youth Council president Bernetta Character made the presentation. NAACP Branch 5268 president the Rev. Dr. Rico Cain also congratulated Henderson on the recognition.