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Watch for Me NC in Murphy

  • Watch for Me NC participant since: 2016
  • Population: 1,700
  • Lead agency: Murphy Police Department


The county seat of Cherokee County, NC, Murphy lies at the confluence of the Hiwassee and Valley Rivers. Tree-lined, historic downtown Murphy is walkable and vibrant. Outdoor sports, from trout fishing to mountain biking, are popular in the surrounding area.


The Town of Murphy drew upon partnerships with the District Attorney’s office, the NC State Highway Patrol and the School System.

Education and Enforcement Activities

The Murphy Police Department chose to focus their education and enforcement activities on pedestrian safety: specifically, crosswalks in the compact downtown.  A local radio station broadcast weekly PSAs on the subject.  Officers regularly took part in ‘Coffee with a Cop’, and attended community events such as community policing events, kid’s fairs and bike rodeos.

Key Outcomes

Watch for Me NC led the town to work more directly with the NC Department of Transportation. Work is underway to construct a crosswalk near a local school, repair broken sidewalks and build new ones.

Lessons Learned

  • Murphy found it useful to focus on the Watch for Me NC efforts on pedestrian safety, as this had been identified as the main concern in town.
  • Education campaigns take time – consistency and continuing community presence is important.
  • Routinely scheduled staff training for traffic safety officers would improve institutional understanding of North Carolina pedestrian and bicycle road safety laws.


Thank you to Chief Justin J. Jacobs of the Murphy Police Department for providing leadership, time, and expertise that contributed to the Watch for Me NC Campaign in Murphy and the writing of this profile.