BAXTER SPRINGS, Kans. — Law enforcement in southeast Kansas is getting a brand new face — but it’s one that’s pretty familiar in a different part of the Four States.
It’s the new police chief for the Baxter Springs Police Department.
Brian Henderson is in just his first week on the job, but it’s a career he’s familiar with.
“January 1996 was my start date,” said Henderson.
The first time Brian Henderson was hired by the Baxter Springs Police Department as a reserve officer.
Now he’s back in a much different role.
“So it’s coming back home for me, after serving citizens of Joplin for 20 years. And I’m excited to be starting a new chapter in my career, but also coming back to a great and wonderful community to serve as police chief.”
Henderson says there have been a lot of changes in Baxter Springs law enforcement in 26 years, everything from the use of computers to the location of the police station itself.
“There has been a lot of changes, a lot of progress, which is wonderful to see. The city as a whole is very progressive and looking forward to our future,” added Henderson.
It’s a police force of up to ten men and women.
One week into the job, he’s working to update uniforms and the exterior of the station.
The learning curve also includes the law itself, trading two decades of Missouri law enforcement in Joplin for the laws of the State of Kansas. But Henderson adds the basics stay the same.
“That’s the whole root of law enforcement is that the basics don’t change. If we treat the community with respect and enforce the laws as they’re stated and not try to put our own spin or own ideas into it, then we gain community support and that better environment for everybody.”
He is already working on new projects to update police uniforms and overhauling the exterior of the building.
Henderson has lived in the Baxter Springs area his entire life and says it’s great to be following his career at home.