City Council Discusses Intern Program; Approves Turn Lane Arrow
Pictured Above: Murphy PD officers join Wylie and Wylie East High School interns during the City Council meeting on June 4.
Murphy’s City Council came to order promptly at 6 p.m. on June 4 inside Council Chambers at City Hall. After invocation and pledge of allegiance, members of council moved through the agenda. Item 5-A, presented by Lt. Adana Barber, detailed a police intern program that included students from Wylie and Wylie East High School’s criminal justice program. Seniors participating in the internship worked with police and fire departments; court offices and other local municipalities.
Lt. Barber explained, “Last year was our first year and it was an awesome program. Wylie High kids came in the mornings and Wylie East came at lunch time. We would place them with an officer and they would learn various things. These are the people that really help guide our youth.” She then invited officers to the podium who played an important role in giving interns a first-hand look at what it means to be a police officer in the City of Murphy. Officer Jonathan Hunter, Kyle Sarles, Fred Mancias and Kris Riebschlager joined Lt. Barber.
As the officers looked on, they were joined by interns and instructors from Wylie and Wylie East High Schools. Instructor David Lanman explained, “The law and public safety corrections and security program cluster that we have is part of the career and technical education program that Wylie ISD offers. Our schools offer career and technical education programs and there are many clusters in it. They’ve been with me since they were freshman. They’ve been through different scenarios and covered the penal code. During their senior year they can take forensic science as a fourth year credit in that cluster. They can also go out on an internship where they shadow and are mentored by people in the public safety field.”
Lanman went on to say, “From Wylie East, we had students at Richardson PD, Murphy PD, Wylie PD, Rockwall County Court of Law and the City of Wylie Human Resources Department. They got the gambit of what public service and public safety is all about. I’ve also had students at the fire departments, Rowlett PD and the animal shelter. Students spend five to six weeks, then they rotate out so they can go to a different area to get a picture of what public safety is all about. We really appreciate the City of Murphy opening their doors and allowing our students to participate in this. They’ve learned a lot.”
Students in attendance are a part of SkillsUSA, an important career and technical organization.
Lanman proudly shared that these students won first place at state and will soon be representing Texas on a national level in Louisville, Kentucky. One of the high school interns approached the podium to share his experience with Council. “The City of Murphy provided me with many experiences that I could never get anywhere else. It allowed me to experience law enforcement in a way I hadn’t before. They put me on the street on patrol with them to get a real worldview of what it’s like to be an officer.”
He went on to say, “Murphy played an influential role in this year and I can’t thank them enough. I was with the officers every single day- especially Officers Beddingfield and Mancias. We’re doing a national contest for CSI. Without Murphy’s help, I don’t know if we would have progressed to that level. We get to represent Texas at the next competition and I can’t thank you all enough, and all of the officers at Murphy PD for this experience.”
City Manager Mike Castro discussed Item 6-A which detailed upcoming events. Sounds at Sundown will continue throughout the summer and City offices will be closed July 4 in observation of Independence Day. When asked if Council had questions pertaining to upcoming events, Mayor Scott Bradley said he would like an update regarding the boil water notice that occurred the previous week. The update will be given when Castro completes his action review.
Mayor Bradley moved on to the consent agenda (Item 7) stating all items would be enacted by one motion and there would be no separate discussion on any items unless a council member requested. If a member requested, the item would be removed from the consent agenda and voted on separately. Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume asked to remove Item 7-D - Consider and/or act on the application of the Murphy Historical Society for a Community Enhancement Grant to fund a partial restoration of the Decatur, Maxwell, Murphy Cemetery.
Berthiaume explained her request for removal stating, “I actually just wanted to make sure everybody is aware of the Historical Society and the Cemetery Association because I think the more we get those names out, the more interest we will keep drumming up.” A motion to approve the consent agenda as presented was approved. Mayor Bradley then moved on to Item 7-D. Murphy Historical Society representative, Roxanne Bogdan, approached the podium to discuss the grant application in detail. A motion to approve the application went forward unanimously.
Council approved the reappointment of Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Berthiaume and Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Sarah Fincanon. Jene Butler, Elizabeth Abraham and Sarah Fincanon volunteered to be on the interview committee to replace one Planning and Zoning Commission member and two Parks Board members. A public hearing was then held on Ordinance No. 19-06-1129 for a Specific Use Permit (SUP) to allow the gymnastics facility, Best Gymnastics, on property located at the 600 block of E. FM 544. The SUP was approved.
Before Council recessed into executive session, they had a lengthy discussion on whether to act on the request for the installation of a right turn arrow located at the intersection of FM 544 and S. Murphy Road. Public Services Department representative, Tim Rogers, along with Lt. Barber, went back-and-forth with Council to try to determine if the design should be left the way it is or make changes. In the end, Council agreed it was best to move forward with the original design and makes changes in the future if necessary.