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Retiring officer hits the road

On May 26, the Rosemount Police Department bid a fond farewell to Tim Murphy, who retired after serving Rosemount for 24 years.

Murphy came to the RPD as a patrol officer in 1992, served as an agent with the Dakota County Drug Task Force for 15 years, then rotated back to patrol officer to end his career.

He came to Rosemount at a time when the town resembled The Andy Griffith Show’s fictional Mayberry and officers knew everybody in town.

“It sounds funny, but I still remember we had more horses, sheep and cows in Rosemount when I started than we had people,” Murphy said. “People still had horses in their backyards. We would get calls about horses getting out into the streets, and we knew whose horses they were.”

Murphy didn’t begin his career as a police officer until after he had worked as a machinist for 12 years. His uncle was a deputy for Ramsey County and his father was a police officer in Inver Grove Heights, but he didn’t gain an interest in police work until he spent several years on the Inver Grove Heights reserves.

“I got more in-depth understanding as reserve officer and it just ended up being a game changer for me,” Murphy said.

He received job offers from three police departments but liked Rosemount’s small town atmosphere best.

During his time in Rosemount, Murphy served as the union president for 17 years. He worked as a field training officer for several years and was responsible for creating the department’s first property room, which he managed for 22 years.

“We had never had one before. There wasn’t a need. We were so small then,” he said. “I didn’t realize I was going to be doing it for so long. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it. In all my years with the department, we have never had any issue with security or accountability in court.”

Murphy said one of the highlights of his career was working as a DARE officer. He is still in touch with some of the kids he taught, though they are now going to military school and graduating from college. He has remained friends with parents, too.

“I loved that. It was so much fun working with those kids. That was a blast,” he said.

Two success stories from his time on the drug task force also stand out as highlights. One was a woman with a methamphetamine problem. He arrested her several times and she ended up going to prison twice, where she was able to get the help she needed.

“My goal was to save her. To this day, she’s actually a really, really good friend of mine,” Murphy said. “I love her to death, and she thanks me for saving her life, though she had to take the steps as well.”

He also helped convince a judge to allow a man with a drug problem, but also a family and a business to run, to be placed on work release rather than go to jail.

“He’s been clean and sober for five years now,” Murphy said. “You had to go against the grain of law enforcement, but he’s a friend of mine and a really good guy.”

Rosemount police chief Mitchell Scott said Murphy is a great guy who worked well with management and understood that the message was not always about writing citations, but about educating the public.

“He was the kind of guy that, if I need to give something to somebody and get it done, I could trust him to do it and to do it right,” Scott said. “He’s a valuable player and we’re going to miss him. A lot of officers spoke highly of him. A lot of people who were already retired came back for his retirement party. I think that really speaks volumes about a person’s character and reliability.”

Murphy said he has plenty to keep him busy during retirement. He is an avid outdoorsman and plans to squeeze in a lot more hunting, fishing, off-road mountain biking, road biking and dirt bike racing. He also serves as president of the Twin Cities chapter of the GunSlingers Motorcycle Club, an all-police motorcycle club that does charity runs.

“I’ll be spending a lot of time on two wheels this summer,” he said.

And on top of all that, he has a brand new grandson to spoil.

Murphy said he will miss the people of Rosemount, and will even miss stopping in the store to get a pop and not being able to leave because so many people want to stop and chat with him.

“I always tried to give as much time as possible to talk to people,” he said. “It’s an important part of the job.”