Following a 33 year career with the Newton Police Department, the last four as Chief, Eric Murphy is retiring.

According to a news release issued by the city of Newton, his retirement is "effective immediately." He was not at the department Friday.

Murphy began his career as a reserve officer for Newton Police Department in 1984 and was hired full-time in 1986. He worked his way through the ranks, being promoted to lieutenant in 2006 and deputy chief in 2013 before becoming chief in 2014.

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

His career accomplishments include 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.

In 2018, Murphy graduated from the elite FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Murphy is a Newton native and has lived his entire life in Newton. He is a member of First Mennonite Church and has served on the Harvey County Fair Board and 4-H Development Committee.

He is married to Judy and has four adult sons and one grandson.

Deputy Chief Craig Dunlavy will serve as interim chief. He is a 26-year veteran of the department.