For 41 years, former Port Allen police chief Harry Brown and his wife Marilyn have lived in the pink house at the end of Heliotrope Street. Now, because of a birthday present from neighbors, they live at the pink house at the end of Harry Brown Street.
Neighbors voted with 85 percent approval to change the name of the street to honor the first black police chief of Port Allen on his birthday, Sept. 12.
Harry Brown started as a reserve officer with the Port Allen Police Department where he spent more than 20 years as a patrolman. After rising through the ranks, he spent eight years as chief of police until he retired in 2009.
“The city was really good to me,” he said.
The position of police chief came with a few headaches, Harry Brown admitted, but helping people on the street made everything worth it. Even as he moved up the ranks from corporal to sergeant to police chief, his focus was always on bettering the community, he said.
Being able to help people in the community is something he is most proud of, he said.
The Brown’s have lived in Port Allen all of their lives.
Community involvement and serving others carries tremendous value to them, they said.
Their eldest, Harry Brown, II, currently works in Richmond, Louisiana, as a police detective, and Brandon Brown, as a Port Allen City Council member representing District 4.
“You help whoever,” Harry Brown said. “Black, red, white, it doesn’t matter.”
Now in retirement, Marilyn and Harry Brown continue to help in the community by volunteering with local churches.
They are members at New Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church, where Harry Brown often volunteers as a cook for events and fundraisers.
“Put God first and he’ll take care of his own,” Harry Brown said.
They also like to spend time with their family which will include a new granddaughter in about five weeks, Marilyn Brown said.
Port Allen is more than just a city to live in to the Brown’s, it is a home and community that they actively invest in and make better.
“It’s about helping people along the way,” Marilyn Brown said.