BHCC Chief of Police Robert Barrows Speaks at Cape Cod Community College’s Inaugural Intentional Critical Conversations Series

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Bunker Hill Community College Chief of Police Robert Barrows shared his personal experiences with the criminal justice system and the lessons he learned as a young person moving into a career in law enforcement. The virtual presentation, entitled “An Oh-So Ordinary Tale with an Extraordinary Ending,” was part of the new monthly Intentional Critical Conversations series sponsored by Cape Cod Community College. The series focuses on changing narratives throughout the 21st century and elevates stories about serving, protecting, and community.

During his presentation, Chief Barrows shared the story of his father, Alben Barrows, who was incarcerated for 20 years for crimes that he has always maintained his innocence. He spoke about his father’s passion and determination to maintain his integrity and how his perseverance freed him from prison and led him to a career as a junior executive in a Fortune 500 company. Following this opportunity, he then went on to lifelong employment with Stop & Shop. 

“I knew I could not make a difference at the time or change the way I felt about my fathers’ injustices, but I knew being angry and dwelling on his past was not the solution,” said Chief Barrows. “I finally realized that in order for me to make a difference, I had to become part of the solution. Education was the vehicle that guided me in the right direction.”

Chief Barrows presentation can be found on the Cape Cod Community College YouTube channel. His presentation begins at around 12 ½ minutes into the program.

Chief Barrows has a rich history of community service and dedication to the rehabilitation and employment of those who have been previously incarcerated. He recently completed the YW LeadBoston leadership program, designed to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion, and is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, International Chief of Police Association, Massachusetts Chief of Police Association, Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement, and the Massachusetts Community College Chiefs. Chief Barrows is also an adjunct faculty member at BHCC.

Chief Barrows presentation begins at around 12 ½ minutes into the program in the video below.