TWIN FALLS — Several days ago the Twin Falls Police Department awarded one of their most dedicated volunteers. 81-year-old Loretta Mullins received the Distinguished Service Award for her work and service these past several years.
Loretta began volunteering in June of 2017. She works two days a week for four hours each day and has managed to accumulate over 800 hours of volunteering. She helps out where she can, but mainly works in the records department.
Mullins said, “I went through all of the sex cases, all of the death cases and for each report, I made a file folder, put the report in, put numbers on it and file it in the new records room.”
Loretta is no stranger to this profession either, as she has a had longstanding career in law enforcement.
She started her policing career the year after graduating high school in 1959 at Chace County Sheriff Department in Logan Utah. Several years later, she was a dispatcher for the Orem Police Department.
After Utah, Mullins moved to California for a time where she did not pursue law enforcement. In 1965 she moved to Colorado and became a dispatcher until 1971, when she became a fully-fledged police officer and the first woman officer for Fort Lupton Police Department.
Loretta climbed through the ranks of the department throughout the '70s eventually becoming Staff Sergeant in 1976, remaining in that position until she left in 1982.
She returned to Utah afterward and then made the move to Twin in 1986 and became a dispatcher for the department until 1996. Loretta then worked at SIRCOMM until her retirement in 2002. Since her retirement, Loretta has managed to keep busy through other volunteer positions and was glad to come back to the department.
“I’ve spent a good almost 35 years in this occupation, so it is my environment. That’s what I enjoy and that’s what I have enjoyed. I think you have to enjoy this in order to stay in it that long,” said Mullins.
Coworkers are both impressed and motivated by Loretta's impressive résumé. Chief of the Twin Falls PD, Craig Kingsbury, said, “She has served at so many different levels, as an officer, as a sergeant, as a staff sergeant and a long time as a 911 operator here and she continues to serve and it’s actually awe-inspiring.”
Since Loretta has continued to serve her community, many in the department felt it was right for her efforts to be recognized. “If she decided not to come into work tomorrow, there’s not really a darn thing we can do about that. But she knows and she is just as committed as if she was still a full-time employee and she shows up and works hard every day,” said Kingsbury.
The pandemic forced Loretta out of work for a year for safety, where unfortunately there was not much to do. She has been back for nearly two months and although she is happy to be recognized for her work, she is just glad to be back working.
“It gives me the opportunity to be back, as my husband says, you’re back in your environment. And I am back in my environment when I’m here.”