On Friday afternoon dozens of current and former colleagues, family and friends packed the court room in East Ridge City Hall to show their appreciation to one of East Ridge’s Finest.
After a 27-year career with ERPD, Capt. Tim Mullinax has retired due to health reasons.
“It’s been 27 and a half years … I prefer to think of it as 10,030 days,” said Capt. Mullinax, who is never at a loss for words. “Not that I’m counting.”
Mullinax thanked his wife of 26 years and his children. “You think I’m a pain here, you should see me at home,” he said. “I want to thank my children. I’ve missed a lot of holidays and birthdays.”
Mullinax continued with numerous backhanded compliments to colleagues, past and present. He thanked longtime executive secretary Sue Cross “who has taught me more about chicken than I want to know.”
He paid special recognition to the records department staff – Candy, Pam, Celeste and Myra – staff that he called “the face of the police department to the general public,” and people who are too often “overlooked.”
“I want to thank the men and women of the East Ridge Police Department who are overlooked and under represented,” Mullinax said.
Chief J.R. Reed presented Mullinax with a plaque commemorating his service to the department.
Chief Reed said he wanted to thank Mullinax for answering all the questions that he has asked the experienced officer during his two-year tenure as Chief of Police.
“I have the answers to everything,” Mullinax quipped in a deadpan manner.
Prior to the guests digging in to a catered lunch that included a commemorative custom cake, Lt. Daniel Stephenson got on his police radio and called up dispatch at 911 Emergency Communications. Lt. Stephens informed dispatch that Badge 520 – Mullinax’s badge numer – was retiring and that Mullinax had served with “distinction and professionalism.”
Dispatch responded with “Congratulations 520.”
Mullinax responded to dispatch with a “thank you,” then quickly added “that may have been the nicest thing I’ve ever said to dispatch.”
Former Public Safety Director Eddie Phillips, who retired several years ago, told those gathered that he was going to say a prayer before those gathered broke bread. But first he told those giving Mullinax the send off that he only saw the man he promoted to Captain smile one time.
“That was the day you left, Eddie,” Mullinax quipped.
Phillips couldn’t help himself and told a story about taking his broken computer to Mullinax for a diagnosis. Phillips said he didn’t know a whole lot about computers.
“Tim tells me, ‘let me explain it to you, Chief; The thinky box is broke.'”
Phillips prayed then Mullinax got in his last shot: “It’s official, now I’m a quitter just like you.”