Co-workers, city officials, family and friends gathered Friday at the Hillsboro Police Department to wish police Capt. Jeff Murphy well as he retires from the department.
Murphy is a 27-year veteran who has served the city as a patrol officer, undercover drug officer, sergeant and captain.
Murphy said he will miss the camaraderie and bonds he has built with fellow officers and the community over almost three decades with HPD.
“You put your life in their hands, and they put theirs in yours every day,” he said. “Sometimes the bonds are closer than with your own family.”
While there are things “you wish you could un-see,” Murphy said the opportunity to “sincerely help people who need help” is a satisfying reward. He said it’s gratifying to hear from people who were in trouble or even arrested, only to be approached by them a decade later and hear them express their appreciation for helping set them on a better course.
Murphy and his wife, Heather, are the parents of two daughters, Jordan and Shelby, and the captain said he plans to take the summer to spend time with family before “getting back into life.”
Chief Todd Whited said Murphy’s knowledge and experience are irreplaceable.
“You can’t put all that training into a new officer,” said Whited. He said Murphy has had “an exemplary career.”
Whited said the captain’s position will remain vacant for a while, but he’s happy that a new drug officer is coming on board, something he has long requested. He said the new undercover drug officer will start full-time June 1. The chief said that while one more additional officer would be ideal, he’s pleased with the staffing level he has now.
Mayor Drew Hastings presented Murphy with a plaque honoring him for his years of service. Hastings recently swore-in Jeremy Conley as a new patrolmen with HPD to fill the staff position created by Murphy’s retirement. Whited said at the time that this will be Conley’s first full-time law enforcement position and that he would go through a 10-week field training program.
Safety and Service Director Todd Wilkin announced Murphy’s retirement at a recent council meeting, saying “He will be sorely missed, but we wish him the best.”
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.