When Dallas Murphy looks back at more than 35 years of public law enforcement, he says his most gratifying memory is the way he was accepted by the public.
"I think the best thing is the way I was received by the people in eastern Kansas and in Douglas County in particular," he said Thursday. "I always enjoyed the way I was accepted by the people here; we have some of the best people in the country."
Murphy, 58, retired Sept. 27 from the Douglas County sheriff's office, where he most recently was employed as jail administrator.
He now works in public relations and marketing for Lawrence Security Patrol, 1900 Crossgate.
No replacement has been named for Murphy, according to Sheriff Loren Anderson.
Murphy said that after working many years in the Douglas County Jail and serving as a sheriff's deputy, he is looking forward to the change.
"I'm glad to be in a less stressful job," he said. "I'm looking forward to spending more time with my family and grandsons."
MURPHY started his law enforcement career in 1956 with the Kansas Highway Patrol. He served in the KHP for 14 years, 13 of them in Lawrence, before joining the sheriff's office in 1970, when he was appointed Douglas County undersheriff by then-Sheriff Rex Johnson.
Murphy was reassigned to jail administrator when that position was created in 1985.
He waged an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican Party nomination for Douglas County sheriff in 1988. He was defeated in the primary by Anderson, who went on to win the general election and become sheriff.
As jail administrator, Murphy was in charge of about 20 sheriff's officers who monitor and administer the jail, and he was responsible for many of the jail policies and operations.
Murphy said it is unusual for troopers to leave the highway patrol, but the quality of people in the Douglas County sheriff's office was one reason he joined the office.
"I THINK THE quality of the people is outstanding," he said. "I also think the cooperation between the agencies here is important. There is a good cooperation between the Lawrence Police Department, the Kansas University Police Department and the other agencies," he said. "You don't have that in some other places."
Asked what advice he would give to someone contemplating a career in law enforcement, Murphy said, "I think they would want to look long and hard on it. It's kind of a thankless job, and you really have to be dedicated."
Murphy also said serving in law enforcement is more difficult today than in the past because of increased crime, budget problems and because the public has less respect for law enforcement officers.
"In order to be in law enforcement, you really have to want to do it," Murphy said.
Murphy and his wife, Marlys, have three daughters, Kimberly, Lisa and Tracy.