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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."

We want you to tell us everything you know... except your name.

If you have any information related to these cases, contact Silent Witness at: 480-WITNESS or 800-343-TIPS.



How we spread the word

Police officers answer the Silent Witness telephone line 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. They take your information and direct it to the proper department for action.

How we keep going

The community. We're supported by donations from businesses, civic groups, and several individuals. Our civilian board actively oversees the operation of the Silent Witness program.

If you have time, talent, money or information to share, contact Silent Witness today.

About the Author

Years with the company: 18

More on what you do (at work): I put up with Mac & Gaydos every day as well as writing and anchoring newscasts and doing some reporting. I also produce Silent Witness which airs every Monday morning.

Education: I started in radio during high school and kept with it. I also graduated from modeling school, but quickly realized it isn't what I love to do…radio is.

Family: Married. One pet…a cat named Molly (but she thinks her name is Princess).

Favorite food: I love anything cheesy or chocolatey.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Our family cabin in Strawberry.

Favorite news memory: Too many to list but I remember one time I helped rescue a litter of puppies found in a hole on an empty lot…

Favorite movie: I like too many to list any one as a favorite. I don't like sad movies so my LEAST favorite is Marley & Me!

First job: Washing dishes at the restaurant my friend's parents owned when I was 13.

First concert: Rick Springfield at the Arizona State Fair in 1981.

#1 sports team: Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals

Outside interests: I sing with the band at church, I bake, I read and I treasure hunt at thrift stores and yard sales. I also love to travel…but not if I have to drive.


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