By Scott Kunkes
Many of you might not know our new Chief of Police here at Prairie State College. His name is John Murphy, and he is an experienced officer that some may recognize from his years of service in Chicago Heights. And now he’s PSC’s new police chief.
Murphy has been an officer of the law since he was 21 years old, starting out in neighboring South Chicago Heights. He was number one on their hiring list after he took the police exam, so he clearly had a knack for police work from the start.
After working for eight and a half years, Murphy took the test for the Chicago Heights police department, where he placed at the top of their list. He then spent more than 20 years serving on the Chicago Heights police force.
Having served as an officer for more than 32 years, one can imagine he has seen and done it all. Through all of his extensive experience, Murphy said the biggest challenge is to stay safe while being aggressive and fighting crime. That is something that we may think is pretty basic, but rest assured; officers do not take those “simple” truths for granted. With the advent of instantaneous technology in today’s world, officers must adapt. There is always someone with a camera that may taunt an officer in order to get a reaction on video.
Nowadays, children grow up wanting to be police officers because of what they see on TV and in movies. However, there are many more challenges than people realize. Murphy has said that one of the most challenging parts of being a police officer is not necessarily what happens on the streets, but, instead, what happens at home.
Working holidays, investigations and other events has caused Murphy to miss many family get togethers. Having said that, he also finds that working with domestic cases is equally as challenging. Murphy said that seeing people punch their spouses like “they are some stranger at a bar” as well as seeing how people can harm the defenseless is extremely unsettling because he has a family of his own.
Murphy has been retired for some time now. During his retirement he completed his master’s degree in public administration. He searched for numerous jobs, and he eventually landed himself here as our new police chief.
“I’m too young to just sit around the house and not be productive. I also have to pay for my son’s college,” Murphy said.
Since being named the new chief of police here at PSC, he has added four experienced officers in the past year. His plans are to add more when positions will become available. With 14 months of work under his belt, he said he really loves the environment here on campus and all the people he works with.
“Everyone is like a family and it makes you try harder to make the place safe to work at,” Murphy said.
He has been described as a funny man and enjoys interacting with people. Therefor when you see him, don’t be afraid to say hello and engage in a conversation as he keeps his office open whenever he is in there. He is here to provide a fun, safe environment for both the students and the staff.