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Subject: Patrick J. Murphy, 69, a Force Behind Police Department Advances

New York
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Date Posted: January 08, 2003 3:54:13 EDT

Patrick J. Murphy, a former senior police official in New York who helped organize the city-federal Joint Terrorist Task Force and is credited with many policing innovations, including the use of nonlethal weapons for encounters with emotionally disturbed people, died Saturday at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He was 69 and lived in Staten Island.

The cause was prostate cancer, said his wife, Patricia.

In a 31-year police career that began in 1955, Mr. Murphy rose from foot patrolman in Greenwich Village to chief of operations (now known as chief of the department), the highest uniformed post, and in 1984 became first deputy commissioner, ranking second only to the police commissioner.

Along the way, Mr. Murphy was entrusted with many of the department's most sensitive assignments. He was its first liaison with gay organizations in the city, worked closely with organizers of antiwar and antinuclear rallies, and played important roles in inquiries into police corruption and brutality and disputes over the promotion of minorities in the department.

Mr. Murphy helped establish the Joint Terrorist Task Force in the early 1980's as a response to the activities of domestic terrorists, including radicals who staged a 1981 Brink's armored car robbery in Rockland County. In 1980, the police reported 21,000 encounters with emotionally disturbed people, some fatal, and Mr. Murphy ordered the use of nets, Mace and stun guns.

Besides running the department day to day, he oversaw disciplinary, budget and labor relations policies. Mr. Murphy, who was sometimes confused with Patrick V. Murphy, a police commissioner in the early 1970's, was regarded as a likely successor to Commissioner Robert J. McGuire in 1983, but Mayor Edward I. Koch, under pressure to appoint a black commissioner, named Benjamin Ward.

After retiring from the department in 1986, Mr. Murphy became security director for Merrill Lynch, a post he held until 1993. In 1989, Mayor-elect David N. Dinkins named him to his City Hall transition team.

Born in Manhattan on March 18, 1933, Patrick Murphy, whose parents died when he was a child, was raised at a Staten Island orphanage, the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto, and later served for many years on its board of directors.

Besides his wife, he is survived by a daughter, Annemarie Parrino, a city police detective, of Staten Island; a son, Patrick, a city police sergeant, of Staten Island; three brothers, William and Michael, of Staten Island, and Stephen, of Cranford, N.J.; and three grandchidren.

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