RIPLEY, Tenn. – Blue lights lit up the streets of Ripley Monday night as police officers paid tribute to former Ripley police officer Tim Mullen.
Mullen was found unconscious inside the police department Wednesday night and later pronounced dead. His family said he died of a blood clot in one of his lungs, but it’s not known what caused the blood clot.
“He died doing what he loved to do,” said Mullen’s mother Dinah Dollahite.
Mullen served on and off with the Ripley Police Department for about 10 years, which were interrupted only by stints at other departments.
“He never saw fear. It never bothered him. He didn’t go to work fearing that he was never coming back home,” said Dollahite.
But Mullen had some close calls. In 2019, several of his bones were broken while he was assisting with an arrest.
What followed were multiple surgeries and months off the job.
“He wanted to get back in there so bad. He wanted to be with the guys that he worked with because he loved them,” said Dollahite.
It’s that love that Dollahite says spurred Mullen to return to duty even before he’d fully recovered.
“There was times when he couldn’t even put his shoes on for the swelling in his feet, but he went,” she said.
Monday, his brothers and sisters in blue kept going for Mullen – around the town square and down a portion of Highway 51.
Mullen’s visitation will be held in Ripley Tuesday at 11 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m.