Ellis County Commissioners recognized dispatcher Debra Murray for her service to the community on Tuesday.

The North Central Texas Council of Governments recently named Murray as the telecommunicator of the year.

Sheriff Chuck Edge stated Murray was selected for this honor because of efforts to dispatch and manage resources to the Italy High School shooting in January. The shooting wounded a 15-year-old student.

“We are extremely proud to have her at the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office,” Edge said. “There was a lot of information going back and forth. The scene was a little bit chaotic because we thought it was an active shooter at that point. We were so blessed to have Ms. Murray on the radio handling that call and on the phone.”

County Judge Carol Bush complemented Murray on her ability to keep calm in a difficult situation.

“Her competence and ability to handle that situation promptly allowed for the right people were deployed, and perhaps a more tragic situation was averted,” Bush said. “It is an incredible honor, and we are glad to have you here on our team. Thank you for being calm, cool and collective during a time of crisis because that made the difference in people’s lives.”

Murray declined to address the court but posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook page stating, “Thank you, everyone. I am very appreciative of all of your support."

In other business, the court approved two agreements to contribute rights of way funds with the Texas Department of Transportation for the Loop 9 project. The Loop 9 project is a 10-mile stretch of roadway that will connect Interstate Highway 35E in Red Oak to I-45 near Ferris.

According to the TxDOT website, the project will be built in three phases. The segment from I-35E to I-45 will be the first to be constructed at the cost of $450 million. Once completed, Loop 9, will be made up of six lanes with frontage roads.

The county’s contribution totals $485,960.30. Payments will be made from December 1, 2018 – Nov. 16, 2021.