Another veteran lawman will be running for White County sheriff in 2020.
John Murphy says he’ll bring more than three decades of law enforcement experience as he seeks the office. After retiring from the White County Sheriff’s Office in 2016, he says he feels called to pursue a new chapter.
“I feel this is what God wants me to do,” Murphy, 64, told the White County News earlier this week. “Whether I get elected or not, that’s up to God.”
The Sautee Nacoochee resident initially shared his intent to run among guests at the White County Republican Party’s annual cookout in late August.
Murphy worked at the WCSO under Sheriff Neal Walden for 11 years and was the division commander for court services when he retired in November 2016. Before then, he worked at the Hall County Sheriff’s Office for 25 years until accepting one of the early retirement offers presented to long-term employees at the time.
His career at the HCSO began as a jailer in 1979, before moving to the patrol division. In 1983, he began handling investigations involving property, people and juveniles. He later transferred back into patrol onto a DUI task force and accident fatalities unit. Murphy said he helped found the HCSO crime scene unit in which he worked for seven years before rounding out his stint in Hall County as a senior investigator reviewing initial reports.
“I’ve got all the experience – over 3,500 hours of POST certified training,” Murphy said. “I’ve had the full gamut of sheriff’s work.”
Murphy also attended the Columbus State University law enforcement management and supervision 10-week course and completed it with 3.8 GPA.
While working under five different sheriff’s during his career, Murphy said he’s had plenty of experience dealing with the challenges and harsh realities that come with law enforcement work.
“I’ve been under pressure. I know how to handle it,” Murphy said. “If there becomes an issue or small problem, I’ll say a prayer and God will get me through it.”
Murphy was part of SWAT with Hall County 22 years, and said he was the assistant SWAT leader at Hall County’s rowing venue for the 1996 Olympics, working with multiple federal and state agencies.
“I feel like [running for sheriff] is what I have to do,” he said. “Doing right for the people of White County and, not just all the people of White County, all the people who visit here.”
Murphy explained that even those who visit White County shouldn’t feel worried about a crime problem.
“We do have some who come up here and have a good time – and some come up and have too much of a good time,” Murphy said “And you have to deal with those people, but you deal with them fairly, justly. You do what’s right.
“I’ve always been a big believer in doing what is right. If you have a question about that, a simple prayer will solve it for you.”
Murphy has lived in White County for 25 years. He is a member of Bethel Baptist Church, where is an adult Sunday School teacher.