Tadpole's Outdoor Blog

April 18, 2013

On The Bright Side Mary Howell

Filed under: Mary Howell — Freddie Keel @ 6:01 am


Unlike most little boys who have an ambition to be a policeman or fireman, Doug Murphy never forgot his childhood dream.


From the time he was a toddler Doug liked to pretend he was a policemen by wearing a policeman hat like his father who was a reserve deputy in Harris County.  Doug learned to shoot a gun by shooting out his grandmother’s Christmas lights with his BB gun.  Instead of getting into trouble his grandmother complimented him on being a good shot!


Doug graduated from Southwest High School in Fort Worth, Texas.  He attended Missouri Western College in St. Joseph, MO where he was awarded a football grant. 


Doug learned the hard way to obey the law!  He was out one night with a group of college students who decided to steal a portable lighted highway sign.  A policeman came along and caught the pranksters.  The policeman took them to the courthouse and the boys had to go to court and appear before a judge.  The football coach advised the boys to dress in “Sunday best” for their court appearance. The judge was impressed with the polite boys and let them off with a less consequential ticket.


After Doug’s parents moved to Burlington, N.C., Doug was employed as a patrolman with the Smithfield, N.C. police department.  During his first week on the job, he was patrolling in downtown Smithville and he ran out of gas in the patrol car.  The moment was one that Doug will never forget and proved to be one of the most embarrassing moments of his career.


After working with the Smithfield Police Department for two years, he was employed by the City of Burlington Police Department where during the next thirty years, he served as a patrolman, detective, staff sergeant and most recently served as Supervisor Traffic Division for the City of Burlington. 


Doug was often put in life or death situations while he was on duty.  One of his most unforgettable cases during his detective work involved the disappearance of a ten-year old girl who was reported missing by her grandmother.  Detective Murphy subsequently located her body within 48 hours and discovered that the girl had been murdered by her two juvenile friends who were later tried and convicted of her murder.  As Chief Investigator, he was involved with the trial and was interviewed by the media daily. 


Doug was recently honored upon retirement from Burlington PD on March 1, 2013 for his 30 years of service.  I take this opportunity to congratulate my nephew, Doug Murphy on his successful 32 years career as a peace officer. 


Let us not take our men in uniforms who wear the badge, for granted.  They protect our lives and property and help to give citizens a life on the bright side.


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