May 08, 2015 09:33PM
● By Murray Mayor Ted Eyre
“We (heart) our POLICE OFFICERS” is the message on several signs along 5300 South, east of State Street. I’ve watched as one after another has popped up. In checking with the resident who had the first sign, he indicated that his daughter had designed the sign to honor a police officer in her neighborhood in another city. But, he felt it was very appropriate for how he felt about the Murray Police Department and put one in his yard, too. Neighbors have asked him about the sign and followed suit in putting them in their yards.
The signs started appearing prior to the unrest in several large cities across our nation between youth and police. I have watched the news broadcasts with sadness as lives and businesses have been destroyed, and I cannot help but feel very fortunate to live in Murray City and to know our Police Department employees that serve our residents. We just received a letter from a resident who recently had a break-in at her home. She commented, “I am very impressed with the caliber of police protection Murray supplies.” I’m very proud of the service they provide as well.
Our Police Department has been involved in some high-profile cases in the past couple of years. They recently arrested three suspects in the shooting of David Marsh at the Lee’s Mart on 5900 South/700 West. We were definitely saddened for the Marsh family by this incident and hope that the arrests will bring some peace to their heartaches.
During the recent legislature session, you may have heard conversations and proposed bills about body cameras for police officers. Our Police Department started acquiring body cameras for patrol officers in 2013. The cameras have proven helpful with reports, court testimony, providing proof that leads to more convictions, reduces assaults on the officers and provides a training tool. The camera records both audio and video recordings. In addition to body cameras, the department has state-of-the-art digital network recording devices in their interview rooms.
Most cities have stopped the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program in their schools, but we feel it provides value to our students. Funding is still allocated in our budget and this program continues in Murray schools. The students who participate in this program pledge not to use drugs, participate in bullying or join gangs during this curriculum time. This is a great experience for the students to not only learn, but to have a positive experience with officers – to realize they are in the community to enforce laws and keep their community safe. This year we had about 670 D.A.R.E. graduates.
Through a partnership with the schools in Murray, a full-time school resource officer is in the junior high and high schools to help make the schools a safe environment for all students. Their goals are to help prevent juvenile delinquency/crime and help minimize truancy. Issues in the schools have been stopped or solved as a result of this program.
In 1961, President Kennedy designated May 15 as “Peace Officers Memorial Day” and the whole week is “National Police Week.” In a proclamation by President Bush in 2002, he stated, “I hope you will join with me in paying tribute to our local, state and federal law enforcement officers who serve us and protect us with courage and dedication.” I echo his expression of appreciation. I’ve listed only a small portion of the services our officers provide our residents. I pay tribute and thank them for helping make “Murray, a City without Equal.”
Sincerely,Ted Eyre, Mayor