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The SPOG Officer of the Month for November 2019 is Officer Oliver Murphy, nominated by Officer Rene Miller.
Officer Murphy, who was augmenting 3rd watch, along with other officers, responded to the robbery of an elderly homeless woman at 0216 hrs on Veterans Day. The woman had been harassed about sleeping on the sidewalk and the suspect threw her belongings into the street. As she tried to call the police the suspect tried to grab the woman’s phone. She managed to hang onto her phone and when her dog Sam, a Corgi, came out of the sleeping bag, the suspect grabbed the dog and fled with the victim the dog returned, injured. Security returned with the dog’s collar and leash and told officers that he had seen the suspect to do something to the dog’s neck and then throw the dog into the air and pull it violently to the ground, bouncing the dog off the ground. The dog’s leg was dangling and obviously broken, with a cut the hip area and bone could be seen. Officer Murphy located a 24 hr vet that would take the case with little immediate promise of payment and he arranged for the victim to come to the precinct later in the day to get her dog. Officer Murphy spent the first two-plus hours of his next shift making phone calls and writing emails to the emergency vet and an animal rescue organization to find a way to get the bill paid (up to $10,000) for the immediate care for the dog (which would include amputation of the leg) and for the victim to not have to give up ownership of the dog, just to get it treated. The victim’s homelessness was a hurdle he had to overcome in getting treatment for the dog and keeping the two together. He called Mobile Crisis to assist in this endeavor. At the time of this nomination, the Mobile Crisis Team was attempting to place the woman in temporary housing that accepts animals and Officer Murphy was able to articulate to all of those who were in the position to assist, the importance of the dog to the woman as her companion dog and how devastating giving up the dog would be. The animal rescue organization will not only be paying for the immediate medical care of the dog but also for it’s follow up care. The dog may not lose the leg and the internal bleeding has stopped. Officer Murphy could have taken the dog to the vet and left it at that but he went above and beyond to make sure that both the dog and its owner were properly taken care of the best way he could.