Detective Captain Brett Henson Retires after more than 30 years with Sapulpa Police Department

Sapulpa Police Detective Brett Henson honored Sapulpa Times with an interview to discuss his retirement after serving our community for the past thirty years. His office walls were bare, his family pictures in boxes ready to be taken home. The Human Resource Department called him in for a quick question and he received a hug from a comrade in passing, all pointing to the end of a chapter and the beginning of a new one.

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Starting his Law Enforcement career in 1988 answering dispatch calls, he was commissioned as a Patrol Officer and attended the Police Academy in 1990. He became a detective in 1994. He specialized in narcotics investigations and “phone forensics.”

Detective Brett Henson

About ten years ago, Detective Henson attended a class about extracting deleted data from phones which can be used as criminal evidence. He left with a free trial program, took the knowledge and applied it to a narcotics case. Surprised at the amount of information they were able to retrieve, the Police Department soon invested in the technology. The District Attorney’s office funds the program which includes equipment, training and licensing from Cellebrite.

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It’s not easy work, taking no less than six months to learn. Detective Henson and his partner of fifteen years, Detective Lieutenant Mark Swafford, receive calls from agencies all over Oklahoma and the United States including the FBI, OSBI, ATF, and Secret Service concerning data forensics.

In fact, in 2015 the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) awarded Detective Henson with the Director’s Award for Law Enforcement due to his ability to recover deleted files and photos to aid in criminal investigations and obtaining new technology to unlock pass-protected cell phones.

When asked about the cases they have worked on, a look passed between Detectives Swafford and Henson that verified what another officer said. “We have worked cases that we just don’t want to remember.” 

How was he able to cope with seeing the worst of humanity day after day for thirty years? For him, his faith and family are of utmost importance. In fact, he said, “The good always outweighs the bad.” It was moving to hear him state this sentiment.

The new chapter in Detective Henson’s life will entail coaching baseball and spending time with his family. His retirement is well earned and Sapulpa is blessed he chose to invest part of his life in our community.   

Please remember to pray for all of our officers because as Detective Henson said, “We (the officers) need all the prayers we can get.” Thank you, Captain Henson, for your commitment and service in keeping our community safe. May your next chapter be blessed in every way.

A couple of fellow officers had some parting words:

“Captain Henson has served the citizens of Sapulpa honorably and I have great respect for him. I have had the good fortune to work alongside Brett and learn from him, which has made me a better officer. Although I am grateful for our professional relationship, the most important thing I gained from working with him, is our never-ending friendship,” from Sheriff Bret Bowling.

“I’m honored and thankful I had the opportunity to serve and learn from Captain Henson the past fourteen years. Sapulpa, Creek County, and countless agencies will feel his absence. Relentless, skilled, thorough and knowledgeable, Captain Henson was the very last officer any criminal would want pursuing him. He is a man of integrity, a mentor for many, and the type of officer others emulate. He is irreplaceable,” from Detective Sergeant Amy Nichols.