Sheriff Craig Murphy stepped down from his position in Butler County on Wednesday. On Thursday, he explained why.
"Whatever it took to help somebody through a problem, that's what interested me," said the 68 year old from his conference room.
For years, Craig Murphy sat under an emblem of a star with the words "Sheriff Butler County" on it. He has carried that title for years as well. He did it for the last time Thursday.
"I knew the day was coming," he said with a shake of his head and a smile. "I'm 68 years old. Sometime I've got to grow up."
With his wife beside him, and tears in his eyes, Murphy announced his retirement. "The emotion is," he said, referring to his watery eyes, "I put my life into it. And if I had my druthers, I'd rather be 30 and still going. But this has been my life for half my life."
Recently, doctors diagnosed the man with a blocked carotid artery. Next week, he will undergo heart surgery, which is what lead to his change of heart about his job.
"My wife's been cheated out of enough because of my occupation," he said, as Marilyn, his wife for most of his law enforcement career looked at him. "And I didn't want to cheat her out of anymore."
The Butler County Administrator said Murphy began working for the Sheriff's Department in November of 1977. He was appointed to the Sheriff's office in January of 2004, and was elected to the position in November of that year. He was re-elected in 2006.
Since taking office in 2004, Murphy worked several big cases, including Emily Sander's murder in 2007, the Carol Mould case that went cold (and was then solved in 2009), and the still un-solved Adam Herrman case. "I knew that case would outlast me," he said of the Herrman case.
The man who sat beside Murphy Thursday, and has worked with Murphy for the last 27 years - Undersheriff Kelly Herzet - will take over temporarily.
He reflected on what he learned from Murphy. "Letting them know you care, letting them know they do a good job, let them know that after they work a long day, go home to your family, and relax. That's the stuff I've learned from Sheriff. He didn't lead by example on that," he said with a smile, "because he was always there (on scene)."
The Butler County Republican Party will decide who can fill the Sheriff's position for the rest of the term. Butler County administrators plan to hold a retirement party for Murphy in late April, after he has time to recover from his surgery.