Police Chief Cotten Gives Commendations, Council Recognizes Bank Robbery Responders
(Left to right) Murphy Police Chief Cotten, Officer Kris Riebschlager, Officer Matt Schuler, Sergeant Aaron McMarty and Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume. (Photo from Murphy Police Department Facebook page.)
August 21, 2018 - City Council recognized the bank robbery response personnel from Murphy Police Department during presentations at the regular City Council meeting on August 21st 2018. Presentations also included a proclamation for Payroll Week, the July financial report and a dashboard report for the General Obligation Bond progress for July. Council, at the applicant’s request, postponed a proposed amendment to the Murphy Medical Center addition. Council also denied a sign variance for Verizon Wireless, approved two resolutions and discussed water conservation before an executive session and adjournment.
Chief Cotten presented commendations to Officer Kris Riebschlager, Officer Matt Schuler, and Sergeant Aaron McMarty for their actions in a perilous situation, and prevention of a horrific outcome relating to their response to a robbery at Bank of America; in which a nine month old child was used as a human shield. On August 10th 2018, a female suspect entered the Bank of America and demanded money from the tellers. She poured gasoline and lighter fluid all over the lobby and wielded a hammer while striding atop the counters striking monitors and cash drawers. Officer Riebschlager, first on the scene and engaging the suspect at the front door, was commended for his problem solving skills during fluid resistance levels given by the armed suspect. Of note, were his efforts to resolve the situation with less than lethal methods before being prompted by the suspect’s actions of producing things unknown from the backseat of the car, pulled his service weapon and backed away. Officer Schuler was commended for taking immediate action having arrived on the scene, flanked the suspect and seeing she had produced an infant as a shield, moved in behind her and grabbed the pair of them. Sergeant McCarty was commended for control of his team, in performance and level of force, and maintaining a calm at the scene in the face of a chaotic situation. A video of the officers’ performance was captured and featured on ABC’s Nightly News with David Muir.
Council recognized September 3 – 7 as National Payroll Week. The American Payroll Association endeavors to raise awareness for payroll departments’ role in complying with federal and state wage and tax laws.
City Manager, Dr. Mike Castro provided a list of upcoming events through October. They include City offices being closed on Monday September 3 in honor of Labor Day. Maize Days is around the corner, being held on Saturday September 29 with a fireworks display. National Night Out is Tuesday, October 2 at various locations throughout Murphy. October 13 is the Fall Clean and Green Event at the Murphy City Hall’s parking lot, from 9AM until Noon. Murphy Fire Department is having an Open House on Saturday October 13th from 10 AM until 2 PM. A Low Cost Vaccine Clinic will be held at the Murphy Animal Shelter and a Drug Take Back Event will be at the Police Station, both on Saturday October 27th.
A proposed change to the planned development of Murphy Medical Center was postponed by the applicants request for lack of a super majority vote being available on Council. A super majority is needed when the applicant has been denied by the Planning and Zoning Commission, as in this case. The proposed changes are to allow a child care behind the Allergy and Asthma Center south of Windy Hill Farms. In addition to the usage change, the applicant requested changes to more inexpensive building materials and design. Council received five notices of opposition to the changes by Murphy residents.
Can you see me, now? Verizon Wireless was denied a sign variance to put three signs on the free standing building it will occupy just east of the Jason’s Deli that will occupy the under construction Timber Ridge Center. The current code allows for two and Verizon will also have a monument sign, which was enough to counter claims by Barnett Signs that East-bound visibility will be a significant hindrance to business.
Resolution 18-R-890 set a public hearing date for proposed updates to the Water and Wastewater impact fee through 2028. A draft of the update is available in the agenda packet which may be found on the city website, murphytx.org. Resolution 18-R-891 was approved to execute a contract for, “Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Materials Testing and Scope of Services with Rone Engineering”. This contract is for work related to the General Obligation Bond project.