With the departure of longtime campus police officer Clell Murray, Tarleton State University Police Chief Matt Welch said he has lost his “go-to” guy.
Murray, a sergeant who was the senior officer for the TSU Police with 27 years of experience, was honored with a retirement reception Thursday afternoon.
Murray isn’t ending his career in law enforcement, however. He has been hired by the city of Oak Ridge to work as a school resource officer.
“He was my go-to guy,” Welch said at the reception, which was held in the lobby of TSU’s Administration Building. “It didn’t matter what we needed, he was willing to do it. He didn’t mind, and was always willing to help. He has a servant’s heart, and I’m glad he’s going on to continue in law enforcement.”
Murray’s last official day on duty at TSU was Sept. 8.
He noted that there have been many changes on campus since he was hired in 1991, including the fact that the TSU has grown from about 5,000 students when he first started on the police force to almost 15,000 now, and the number of police officers has grown accordingly.
“I watched a lot of kids grow up and go on to do things and get married,” Murray said. “There were a lot of changes over the years. When I started there were six of us (TSU officers). I’ve been involved in every type of case you can think of.
“It’s been really good for me. It’s been kind of emotional here today. I wanted to move closer to my kids and grandkids, and this new job lets me do both.”
Murray noted that one of his buddies on the police force, Jeff “Chili” Alexander, worked with him for 26 years.
Murray has been assigned to be an SRO at at elementary school in Mansfield.
He and his wife of 31 years, Susan, are moving to a residence in Savannah, near Denton. That means he will have a long drive to work in Mansfield each Monday through Friday. The Murrays have a son, Justin, in Burleson, and a daughter, Jenna, who live in Crossroads. There are four grandchildren in all.
Murray ran for Erath County sheriff twice, most recently in 2016.
Murray, who is certified to work K-9 narcotics, took a leave of absence from TSU for about a year starting in 2005 to work for the Department of State and RONCO Consulting Security Services providing security for the Green Zone in Baghdad, Iraq with an explosive-sniffing dog.