Retired Rahway Chief of Police Barry Henderson Passes

(above) Retired Rahway Chief of Police Barry Henderson

Barry Henderson Obituary

Retired Rahway Chief of Police Barry Henderson passed away on April 2, 2024 at the age of 83.

Chief Henderson was born in Rahway on March 24, 1941. He was a standout athlete at Rahway High School (1959) in basketball and baseball; attaining All-American honors in baseball.

After a brief time in the Detroit Tigers minor league system, Henderson returned home due to a career ending injury.

Henderson joined the Rahway Police Department in 1964. Following the 1960 riots, he headed the juvenile community relations bureau.

From that point on, he rose through the ranks and was promoted to Chief in 1988. As chief, he made innovations in community policing, technology, training and recruitment.

Henderson retired on April 1, 1998. He then took the position of Director at Rahway Department of Public Works. He worked 11 years in that capacity before retiring. In total, he dedicated 47 years of public service to the City of Rahway.

He was a two-time recipient of the valor award from the 200 Club, a member of the Honor Legion, Union County Police Chiefs Association (President 1993; 1997), received a citizenship award from the American Legion, and was inducted into the Union County Baseball Hall of Fame (1988).

Henderson received the New Jersey State Police Chiefs Association Humanitarian Award in 1997 and the New Jersey State PBA Lifetime Membership Award (Silver in 1984 and Gold in 1987).

Outside of his career in law enforcement, Henderson served for ten years on the Rahway Board of Education. He was lifetime member of the Rahway Elks BPOE 1075, a member of the Rahway Yacht Club, and Deutscher Club of Clark.

His love of sports stayed with him throughout his life, as he was a huge fan of the Yankees, Cowboys, Alabama football, and Duke basketball. He was an avid reader who enjoyed history and biographies. Barry enjoyed classic movies with Casablanca as his favorite.

He is predeceased by his parents Robert and Ann Henderson, his brothers Fred and Bruce, his wife Rose, his daughter Ann Hardoby, and his son Barry, Jr.

He is survived by his son Edward and his wife Jennifer, his grandsons Shane and Brody, grandson Nicholas, granddaughter Ann Marie O’Grady (née Hardoby), great grandson Jack, great granddaughter Elizabeth and great granddaughter Ada O’Grady, brother Robert, and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held to honor Chief Henderson on April 11, 2024 in front of Rahway City Hall, with Police Honors. “Chief Henderson will be remembered with admiration, respect, and gratitude. We thank him and the Henderson family for his lifetime of service to the Rahway community,” said Police Director Nicholas Breiner. “We are forever indebted to his contributions and the path he paved for future generations in law enforcement.”

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