San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

SDSU Welcomes New Interim Police Chief

SDSUPD Welcomes Interim Police Chief Gregory Murphy
Courtesy of San Diego State University Police Department
Gregory Murphy, Interim Chief of Police for the San Diego State University Police Department

Officer Gregory Murphy assumed the position of Interim Chief of Police for the San Diego State University Police Department in September, replacing former Chief of Police Mike Hastings who has retired.

Like many freshly 18-year-olds, Gregory Murphy went off to college but was not quite sure what he wanted to do with his life. Murphy left college and enlisted in the Air Force, where he served for six years in informational technology and finished his degree in computer science.

It was not until the Rodney King riots, which broke out in Los Angeles in 1992 after four Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers were caught on camera beating Rodney King, an African American man, that Murphy, himself an African American, realized he wanted to go into law enforcement. 

“I was extra compelled after watching the riots in Los Angeles,” Murphy said. At the time, Murphy was living in the state of Texas and working in the information technology industry. “It was inexplicable to me that I had a calling to law enforcement and that particular city. So, I started making adjustments in my life to take a shot at law enforcement in California.”

Murphy was hired by the LAPD in 1993, where he worked for over ten years. While in the department, Murphy specialized in street gang enforcement and criminal gang activity suspension. 

In 2013, Murphy left the LAPD to work for UC Davis as a police lieutenant. He then became a regional manager for the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards Training (POST), training over 200 police agencies. Murphy returned to higher education policing following his work for POST as the Chief of Police at Sierra Community College in Rocklin, California. Murphy also worked in the police departments at CSU Northridge and UC San Diego. 

“In a municipal police department, I would hop in my car and go where my display would tell me. By the end of my shift, that list would still be full. In a huge city, there are a huge number of calls,” Murphy said. “That is a huge difference. On campuses, there is an obligation to care for a community. Here, there is a different community that is formed between the police department and the community that is formed.” 

In his first two months in his new position at SDSU, Murphy said that he has already fallen in love with the campus and its energy and excitement. Murphy also said that he already found some of his favorite spots on campus – the Peterson Gym BCB Cafe and the Conrad Prebys Student Union.

“In the 60 days I have been here at SDSU, I have really enjoyed the energy on the campus. I especially enjoy all the events that we have. They can be exhausting, but I love the busy nature of SDSU,” Murphy said. 

Murphy’s focus in his new role at SDSU is to build strong relationships between the San Diego State University Police Department and the greater community. His personal policing philosophy involves leading by the four “E’s” of law enforcement: environment, education, enforcement, and engagement.

“I feel like our role is also to educate, versus punishing,” Murphy said. “In the police academy, we had to learn the laws we would be enforcing. Sometimes I would go home and be like ‘oh my gosh, I didn’t even know that was a law!’ There’s a lot of room for education.”

But for Murphy, he says that engagement is the “thread which ties the other elements of policing together.”

“We as a police department need to engage with our communities, so that we know our environment well in order to educate and enforce,” Murphy said. 

About the Contributor
Eugènie Budnik
Eugènie Budnik, '24-25 News Editor, '23-24 News Editor
Eugenie Budnik is a senior studying journalism and advertising. As an ex-military child, Eugenie spent time growing up in Japan, England, Colorado and San Diego. Eugenie joined The Daily Aztec in 2021, when she was originally an elementary education major. Eugenie's time spent reporting on news for The Daily Aztec developed her love and passion for journalism, ultimately leading her to change her major. Since then, Eugenie has written over 40 pieces for The Daily Aztec and is now the news editor. Outside of her work, you can find Eugenie jamming out to Taylor Swift, reading, or scrolling through Tik Tok.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
SDSU Welcomes New Interim Police Chief