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Teel Goodwin (right), Orange supervisors chairman, gives Tim Murphy a resolution honoring him.
BY DAN McFARLAND
An early ride home from a deputy sheriff molded the attitude that shaped the career of Orange County Sheriff's Deputy Tim Murphy, who officially retires Tuesday after 32 years of distinguished service.
Murphy started with the Sheriff's Department out of high school, as a dispatcher-jailer, working his way up to chief deputy in 2007. A graduate of the FBI National Academy, Murphy pioneered the first ever K-9 program in Orange County, and, working with four police dogs over the years, made 97 arrests that were key to shutting down open-air drug markets in the county.
As a master K-9 trainer of the Virginia Police Canine Association, Murphy has helped train hundreds of teams on the East Coast.
Sheriff Mark Amos had solid praise for his right-hand man of the past five years.
"I have enjoyed every moment that I have worked with him," Amos said. "You might remember the open-air drug markets that were operating in this county back in the late 1980s and early '90s. Apprehensions that Tim made were part of the reason we don't have those drugs markets anymore."
"I have always appreciated my job here in the county," Murphy said. "I never did believe how much I was being paid for doing something that was as fun as this was--to hang out with the dog, and chase bad guys, and actually be in the ultimate competition, where if you lost you might not go home, but if you won you got a feeling that you just couldn't imagine."
His ideas on how the job ought to be done, however, started with a mix-up.
"When I was in the ninth grade," Murphy recalled, "I got on the wrong bus, and it dumped me at Unionville Tire, which was about four miles from home. I stood around there, and I had no way to get home.
"The lady there kept asking me 'What's wrong? Is somebody coming for you?' But there was nobody. My parents were both working away and there was no one to come get me."
A deputy sheriff who happened by immediately sized up the situation.
"Well, he gave me a ride home," Murphy explained, "and four years later, when I got a job with the Sheriff's Office, that same fellow was my first shift partner.
"I always thought that was the neatest thing, that a deputy sheriff would do that kind of thing. I never forgot that, and I always looked for ways to do more than the law or the academy teaches us to do, if we can help the citizens."
While Murphy is retiring from the Sheriff's Office, he plans to take a new job as a safety inspector for Williams, a company that owns and operates gas pipelines.