ASK in just about any police station in the land - bar one - who The Boss is and a young cop will reply: “It’s the Chief Inspector.”
ONLY in Lanark would come the response: “It’s Mr Murphy.”
Or, at least it would have up until Friday when Chief Inspector Colin Murphy took his leave as Clydesdale’s police chief at the end of a 30-year career, all of it serving the folk of South Lanarkshire - and serving them very well indeed.
The use of the name rather than the rank tells you a lot about how Colin Murphy has run our area’s policing; older readers will recall tough Scotland footballers of the Eighties never referring to their chief as `the manager’ or, God forbid, “Jock” but ALWAYS as “Mr Stein.”
Clydesdale’s cops know how they felt.
The famously stoic but all-seeing Mr Murphy (54) knows fine well that he’s referred to affectionately as “The Murph” by almost every off-duty member of Strathclyde Police from Chief Constable to rookie but that doesn’t seem to faze him.
In fact, it’s impossible to think of ANYTHING that would faze Colin Murphy.
An apprentice engineer before he joined up in 1982, he doesn’t regret that civilian start to working life outside the force one little bit.
“It’s all life experience, isn’t it; it all goes towards learning about real life and every bit of experience of that is invaluable to a police officer,” adding that this explains his doubts about whether the current plan to directly recruit senior officers trained in management skills will work.
For more on this story pick up a copy of the Carluke and Lanark Gazette which is in the shops now.