OKANOGAN – Detective Mike Murray, who served for two years as Okanogan County Sheriff and started his career with the Oroville Police Department, has retired.
“After 39 years of service and dedication Detective Michael J. Murray of the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office checked out of service on June 30, 2012 retiring from law enforcement,” said Sheriff Frank Rogers.
The detective started his career with the Oroville Police Department in 1973 and then came to the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office in 1974. He worked for the county until 1979, then left to work for Western Washington University from 1981 to 1984. In May of 1984 returned to Okanogan County and went to work again for the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office.
During his career Murray has held almost every position in the Okanogan County Sheriff’s Office, beginning his career as a field deputy. He has also held the positions of acting sergeant, undersheriff and was sheriff of Okanogan from 2001 to 2003. In 2006 he moved into the position of detective, the position he held until he retired.
“It would be impossible to list all of Mike’s successes and accomplishments he has had throughout his career,” said Sheriff Rogers. “Over the years he was instrumental in putting together the first PC network for the Sheriff’s Office. He was involved in organizing and bringing the North Central Narcotics Task Force to the County in 1988.”
Over the years he has held other positions such as the financial director of the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force and served as Task Force board chairman and president of the Guild (the deputies’ association) for seven years. He was Undersheriff under Sheriff Jim Weed for 12 years and was county sheriff after Weed retired from 2001 through 2003.
“I would say Mike’s greatest asset, ‘he was one hell of a cop,’” said Rogers. “He has solved hundreds if not thousands of cases over the years and is one of the best investigators I have ever known.
“There wasn’t a case Mike couldn’t work and would usually come up with some way of solving it. No matter how old the case was or if the leads ran out, Mike always seem to be able to dig something up that brought closure to the case.”
The sheriff added that Murray’s tenacity, work ethic and love of law enforcement is truly going to be missed by all in the Sheriff’s Office, the law enforcement community and the citizens of Okanogan County.
“He has earned the respect and admiration of all of us. Even on his last day, Mike was working on finishing up cases and assisting with the board for Detectives to replace his vacant spot,” said Rogers. “It will be hard, if not impossible to replace Mike. All of us wish Mike and his wife, Manjila, the best of luck in retirement. They have earned it, Mike has earned it. He will be truly missed by all of us and I can personally say I am going to miss working along side Mike. I am going to miss having his knowledge and expertise around the office. Simply put, Mike is a class act.”
Murray said Monday morning that his retirement hasn’t sunk in yet.
“It’s only day two… in a month or so I am sure it will be different,” he said. “I’ve talked to a lot of retired guys and they say it takes awhile. Right now everything you’ve learned on the job is worthless to you and you have to get used to that.”
The former detective said he still enjoys working with computers and loves fishing, but he won’t have time to cast a line just yet.
“I’ve got scads of stuff to do; they’re called ‘honey do’s’ you know… what the wife wants you to get done and you’ve been putting off. For the foreseeable future I’ll be sticking close to home,” Murray said.