October 11, 2016
Two new Police Department programs now active
MURPHY (October 11, 2016) A pair of new programs operated by the Murphy Police Department have become active, one allows for a non-destructive way to enter a home when necessary, and the other extends the visual reach of crime-fighting efforts.
“The new programs are operated at no charge to participating residents,” says Police Chief Arthur “Trey” Cotten. “The programs represent additional ways the Police Department seeks to partner closely with those we serve.”
The Lock Box Program uses a combination lock box, similar to those used by real estate agents, to store an extra key to an entryway. In the event of an emergency when the occupant is unable to open a door or entryway, first responders would locate the lock box, open it with the combination, and enter the residence using the extra key.
“This program is designed for residents over 60 years of age who live alone, or those under 60 who may have a medical condition that could prevent them from opening a door,” said the Chief. “The extra key in the lock box allows emergency personnel to enter the residence without breaking a window or destroying a door.”
A completed application, which remains confidential, and an extra house key are the only requirements to participate. The lock box will be placed in a secure, inconspicuous location, easily accessible to first responders, but out of sight of passersby.
“The system will only be used when an emergency occurs and the occupant cannot open the door,” added the Chief. “It will not be used to allow entry to anyone other than first responders, and no entry will be made unless warranted by an emergency.” Participants can opt out of the program at any time.
The other program is the Video Crime Watch which asks for cooperation from residents, property management companies, and business owners who may have a surveillance system on their property.
Individuals or businesses who register for Video Crime Watch are placed in a database sorted by location. When an incident occurs near the address on record, a request is issued by the police for the camera operator to review their footage. Should the homeowner or business owner determine that their footage may be of assistance, they will alert investigators, who will then ask to review it or make a copy.
“Acting quickly after a crime is committed increases the chances of solving it,” said the Chief. “The use of video footage can add another level of reliable resources to that process.”
An application to participate in the program is necessary, and there is no charge to participants. “These systems are more and more common, and the evidence they might contain can be indispensable to us when investigating a crime,” he said. More information on both programs can be obtained by contact the Murphy Police Department at (972) 468-4200. Online applications for both programs are available at www.murphytx.org/112/Police.