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Scott Murphy, Veteran Denver Cop, Slams Department Leaders in Resignation Letter

Scott Murphy became a member of the Denver Police Department on July 1, 1984 and spent more than three decades on the force.

Earlier this year, however, Murphy resigned in a letter to Chief Robert White that slammed current DPD higher-ups.

The entire document, obtained by CBS4, is on view below. But in its introduction, Murphy writes that while the "decision was not easy...it was highly encouraged by the Department's leadership via superfluous punishment and continuous disrespect."

Murphy's Facebook page sports plenty of tributes to fallen officers and other police-related matters. But the images in its gallery focus on a sideline — his membership in a band called Checkered Past.


As for Murphy's past with the Denver police, his letter draws a distinction between the department during his first years wearing a badge — he calls it "the best law enforcement agency in the Rocky Mountain area" — and its current incarnation.

"In 2012, when the Department's mission statement changed from 'to deliver high-quality public safety services so that all people may share a safe and healthy environment" to "focus on preventing crime in a respectful manner, demonstrating that everyone matters,' the department's values fell.

"The leadership stopped respecting their subordinate officers and began treating them like their service and loyalty did not matter," the missive continues. "Despite my thirty-one-plus years of dedicated service, leadership continuously placed more importance on their media perception and political aspirations than conducting and supporting good police work."

When contacted for a response by CBS4, a DPD spokesperson wouldn't get into the specifics of Murphy's complaints. Instead, the department responded with an e-mail that attempts to contextualize his gripes via an apparent allusion to the "superfluous punishment" line quoted above.

“From the tone of this letter, it is clear that Officer Murphy was disgruntled as he retired. Please note that prior to leaving he was the subject of an Internal Affairs investigation," the e-mail reads, before offering a concluding statement. "That being said, we wish him well in his retirement."

For the complete CBS4 report, click here. Continue to read Murphy's letter in its entirety.

Scott Murphy Resignation Letter


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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts