Waldrop honored by Legislature for 50 years in law enforcement

Waldrop honored by Legislature for 50 years in law enforcement


Madison Police Chief Gene Waldrop has learned two important lessons during his 50-year career in law enforcement that started in Greenville in 1971.

The first one is “that there are four pillars in a community that have to work together to make a safe and comfortable community: law enforcement, city government, citizenry, and the media,” Waldrop said. “All four have to be interacting with each other.”

Waldrop said this first lesson has been made possible by the excellent relationship he has enjoyed with the leadership of the city of Madison since he took the helm of the department in 1992.

“I would like to thank our Mayor, Mayor Mary Hawkins Butler and now the sixth Board of Aldermen I have had the pleasure of working with,” Waldrop said. “Their thoughts are constantly on the safety of this community. It is a pleasure to work with such a professional group.”

This relationship has been key to upholding the second lesson. Waldrop said he is reminded every day of the shield or badge on his and his officer’s chests “is a symbol of trust that the community gives to us as a show of faith that we will do what is right when protecting and serving them.”

“Law Enforcement should always remember that the shield weighs 6 ounces, not 6 pounds,” Waldrop said.

Waldrop was recognized on March 24 by state Rep. Jill Ford during a presentation in front of the Mississippi House of Representatives. 

Waldrop was joined by city officials including Mayor Mary Hawkins-Butler and members of his family including his wife of 49 years Debbie Waldrop and daughter Rossie Medlin.

“Thank you Debbie and Rossie for sharing your husband and father with our community and State,” Ford said. 

Waldrop was honored alongside Chief Wayne Payne of D’Iberville, who has 47 years of service in Mississippi Law Enforcement.

“Chief Waldrop is the epitome of what a Police Chief is and should be,” Ford said. “His dedication is unwavering, He is fiercely loyal and he has a genuine passion to serve and protect.”

Ford said that Waldrop is “not one to stand out in a crowd” and described him as a “quiet man behind the scenes” but noted that his leadership is felt in the quality of protection his department offers the city of Madison.

“He is the quiet man behind the scenes,” Ford said. “Leading, motivating, educating, and working very hard to create a safe environment for his community and the men and women who wear the badge alongside him.”

He was born and raised in Greenville and is a product of the Greenville Public School system. He served for six years in the Mississippi Army National Guard and is a graduate of the Louisiana State University Law Enforcement Institute and the FBI National Academy.

Waldrop has been the Police Chief in Madison for 30 years. Ford said that Hawkins-Butler reached out to Chief Waldrup as he was retiring from the Greenville Police Department and persuaded him to come to Madison.

“As most of us know, Mayor Mary can be quite persuasive,” Ford said. “We are so thankful she asked, but equally thankful he said yes.”

Waldrop said that the new challenges presented by every day are what has kept him coming into work 30 years after considering retiring.

“The profession of law enforcement is an intriguing journey,” Waldrop said. “You get to deal with citizens at their best day and at their worst day. When going to work, you never know what the day will bring for you to do.”

Waldrop shows no signs of slowing down. As to the future of the department, he said he has one simple goal.

“My goal for the Madison Police Department is very simple,” Waldrop said. “Make it the best agency we can to better protect and serve our community.”  

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