Murphy kicks off campaign for sheriff

A 36-year resident of Nye County with more than two decades of emergency services experience under his belt celebrated his decision to run for sheriff in the upcoming election.

Nye County Sheriff’s Det. Eric Murphy officially announced his intent to run for the position Saturday night during a campaign kick-off event at Sander’s Family Winery.

The detective said he thinks it’s time for the agency to move in a new direction and, if elected, he would like to see the department improve its communication efforts with the people it serves as well as to find new ways to improve the services it provides, all while staying within the allocated budget.

Murphy began his public service career in 1992 when he joined the Pahrump fire department as an EMT and firefighter. Over his 11 years with the agency, he worked his way up to lieutenant before leaving to join the NCSO in 2003.

Murphy started as a patrol deputy before being promoted twice over the last 10 years, once to the K-9 unit and then again to his current position as a general assignment detective.

Even after he was nearly killed when a gunman shot him several times in 2008 while he was responding to a call for service at Terrible’s Lakeside Casino, Murphy said he couldn’t imagine doing anything other than serving and protecting the people of Nye County.

The detective has received several awards over the years for his service, including the James D. Hoff Peace Officer’s Memorial Award, a Purple Heart and Medal of Valor awards on two occasions.

Murphy sat down with the Pahrump Valley Times to discuss his campaign and plans for the office if elected.

Q: Why are you running for sheriff?

A: I’m running for sheriff because I believe the sheriff’s office needs to go in a new direction and the thing I’ve been hearing a lot is people want someone who is young, but has a lot of experience and I believe that’s me.

Q: Many people in the community have voiced concerns over how things are handled in the sheriff’s office currently, would you change anything if elected?

A: I think one of the biggest things I would like to see would be more of a working relationship with the other emergency services agencies like the fire departments and county. One of my biggest points is to work better as a team to benefit the county more.

Another thing I’ve had people contact me about is their concern about how they figure things out in the community. A lot of people feel they are left out of communication from the sheriff’s office when a major incident happens.

I’ve seen other agencies use Facebook and Twitter to advise people to stay out of an area when there is a dangerous situation, rather than just leaving it up to the media to do that. I think that would be a good idea to get that out to the public, especially in this day and age. I would like to see more communication with the public. And it’s a huge thing if it’s done correctly and ethically, I think that’s very important.

Q: Many people are concerned about the sheriff’s office budget, what is your view on that issue?

A: I think that’s one of the biggest priorities, as sheriff, to figure out where your money is being spent, how it’s being spent and if we really need those things being purchased at that point in time.

I believe you can fix the budget without having people come in and pay them to balance the budget or audit the budget. The county can’t afford to be bringing people in to do audits, it’s not like they’re free. So you have to be able to get the budget under control on your own. How can you say you want to fix the budget, but you want to spend more money to fix it. It makes it kind of rough for the people I think.

Q: Is there anything else you want people to know about you?

A: I think one of the big things is my campaign slogan: local, ethical and dedicated to the people of Nye County.

One of the big things I think people are looking for is someone who is local. I grew up here. I’ve been here since 1978, since I was 4 years old. I’ve always, from my days at the fire department to now, worked in public service. And through my shooting at Lakeside and my service I have proven my dedication to the people of Nye County. I just think we need some new ideas to push us into the future and help make the community stronger.

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