One of Riverhead's finest has been honored by Suffolk County as top cop when it comes to arrests for driving while intoxicated -- for the tenth year in a row.
Suffolk County Chief Executive Steve Bellone honored Riverhead Police Officer Timothy Murphy, along with 23 other officers from every police jurisdiction in Suffolk County, at a ceremony held at the Suffolk County Police Academy in Brentwood on Tuesday.
A Riverhead police officer since 1999, Murphy made 104 DWI arrests in 2012, just four less than the top officer in Suffolk County, according to Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller.
The awards ceremony was also attended by Suffolk County Sheriff Vincent DeMarco and Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke.
Murphy is slated to be honored by the Riverhead town board on April 16.
"Officer Murphy consistently ranks in the top for DWI arrests in the entire county of Suffolk," Hegermiller said. "There is no doubt that his diligent efforts in removing drunk drivers from our streets saves lives."
Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter added, "On behalf of the Riverhead town board and Riverhead residents, I congratulate Officer Murphy for his commendable police work and say thank you for your hard work. Riverhead residents and visitors are definitely safer as a result of the more than 100 DWI arrests that he made last year."
Murphy actually took first place countywide in DWI arrests twice, including 2010, when he made 86 arrests.
Reflecting on his honor, Murphy said it is difficult to be happy about stopping a driver for DWI "because it means someone is getting arrested. However, getting arrested can be the best thing for them and the community. It means no one was hurt -- or killed."
"My advice to someone considering that it may be okay to have a few drinks and then drive home is just don't do it," Walter said. "Worst case scenario is you may kill someone. Best case scenario is you will be apprehended by Officer Murphy or one of his colleagues. Be forewarned; you're gonna get caught."