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Butte police officer gets national recognition for domestic violence response

Posted at 6:23 PM, May 20, 2024

BUTTE — A Butte police officer recently received national recognition for his efforts in keeping victims of domestic violence safe.

“This man has put so much of his time and his life into dedicating himself to serving his community. If anyone is worthy of receiving national recognition, it’s him,” said Safe Space Assistant Director Winchester Kessler.

Officer Dan Murphy was chosen First Responder of the Year by Murphy said the honor took him by surprise.

“It’s one of the few times that I’m actually speechless. I don’t even know what to say,” said Murphy.

Murphy has been with the department for 24 years. In that time, he’s won the local Safe Space Officer of the Year Award three times for the sympathetic way he works with victims.

“You have to understand trauma in order to be able to effectively domestic violence. They go hand in hand,” said Murphy.

Shelter workers say it’s important for police to be understanding toward victims.

“Some of the best officers I’ve worked with here have been able to, on scene, to separate being an officer and just being human, and you have to be able to find that balance between the two of them,” said Kessler.

Murphy is now on the Safe Space Board and doesn’t receive the local award anymore. He says it's great a national group honored his life’s work.

“Too often, as law enforcement, we don’t really get recognized for the things that we do, you know, I mean, it’s gratifying,” said Murphy.