Newton police chief retiring after 33 years

In a file photo, Newton Police Department Chief Eric Murphy, right, gives Jaxen Titus Young a Newton Police Department Challenge Coin. Murphy announced his retirement May 17 , 2019. Wendy Nugent/Newton Now

The City of Newton announced that, effective immediately, Police Chief Eric Murphy had retired from his position of police chief after 33 years with the department, five as police chief.

“We sincerely thank Chief Murphy for his honorable service and dedication to the law enforcement profession,” City Manager Bob Myers stated in a press release. “His integrity and commitment to our community are second to none, and we wish him all the best in the future.”

An attempt to contact Murphy was made Tuesday afternoon, but he was no longer at the police office though the front desk said a message would be forwarded to him.

Newton public information officer Erin McDaniel, would not comment specifically on Murphy’s departure as it was a personnel matter.

“The circumstances necessitated it be immediate,” she said of the resignation.

Deputy Chief Craig Dunlavy, who has served with the department 26 years will act as interim chief.

Murphy, a lifelong Newton Resident graduated from the elite FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia in 2018, according to the release.

Hired in 1984, the release stated that he  worked his way through the ranks eventually being promoted chief in 2014. Along the way he received a Medal of Valor in 2009 for assisting in the apprehension of a bank robbery suspect, and a Medal of Merit in 2013 for assisting in an Emergency Response Team callout in Wichita. He helped develop the Police Department’s field training program and worked as an instructor for Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Intoxilyzer 5000.

There will soon be another opening in emergency response leadership, following Murphy’s departure. Scott Metzler, Fire and EMS Chief announced in April that his final day with the department would be June 14, before he retired.

Myers said at a Chamber of Commerce Breakfast that an announcement of Metzler’s permanent replacement would be coming soon.

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. He is a 26-year veteran of the department.