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June 30, 2014

Today we say goodbye to a familiar voice on KTAR. Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch is retiring.

Burch came to Silent Witness while still coping with the death of his son. He wanted to especially focus on helping parents of victims have a voice.

“That was very, very rewarding,” said Sgt. Burch, “It was exactly what I expected. It was very difficult and it was very sad, day after day of dealing with parents of murdered children. But it was so rewarding.”

The one thing he didn’t expect with this job is the close relationships he built with the media.

“They really care about their community,” he said. “That really did surprise me! I had such a great working relationship with all the media.”

Under his watch, Silent Witness has seen some real milestones. Each year, for the last five years, the program has been able to reach a pinnacle of 200 arrests. That’s over a thousand felony arrests.

Phoenix Sgt. Derek Elmore will now be heading up Silent Witness. He’s been with the department for more than 21 years in a variety of roles, from patrol to undercover drug operations to domestic violence investigations to crimes against children.

Elmore joked that his other job is as a chauffeur to his four very active children.

He brings a lot of heart to his new job because he loves the Valley.

“This is home to me. Since ’78, I’ve been out here,” he said. “I’ve been on the streets since 1992 when I was hired as an officer. This is home and I love it.”

Elmore said he’s anxious to get started.

“What we all say we become police officers to do, I’ll be able to do on a grand scale — which is help the community.”