By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
Molloy says goodbye after memorable volunteer career
SS PSU retirement2
Bob Molloy, right, has retired from the citys Public Safety Unit after a decade of volunteering in the program and working in conjunction with McMinnville Police Department. He is pictured with Police Chief Bryan Denton. - photo by Lisa Hobbs

The city’s Public Safety Unit has lost one of its longtime members. Bob Molloy announced his retirement from the unit and was honored with a breakfast farewell Thursday morning at Gondola.
“You will never know how difficult this decision was for me,” said Molloy. “I have enjoyed my time with the unit. I want to thank you for allowing me to serve. I will help anyway that I can in the future.”
Molloy became a PSU volunteer in 2004, just one year after the program began as a supplement to the city’s police and other emergency units.
“Mayor Royce Davenport came up with the idea of establishing this unit,” said McMinnville Police Chief Bryan Denton. “We got six good people. We have two of the original members still with us. There was a fellow named Bob Molloy who came by my office one day. He said he heard about the program and was interested in joining it. To make a long story short, I started getting a call from Bob about once a week asking if it was time. We got Bob in and I think everyone will agree he is one of the better officers we’ve had with this program. He has been really valuable and we are going to hate to see Bob leave us.”
Volunteers in the unit are trained and they conduct non-emergency patrolling such as traffic control or funeral processions. They also help stalled vehicles and patrol city-owned parks. Founding members still in the program are Lester Cowell and Norman Elrod.
Denton says in the 10 years Molloy has been with the Public Safety Unit there is no way to tell exactly how many calls he has responded to, but he has headed almost 500 funeral processions.
“We did some research and we found 489 funeral processions that Bob has led,” said Denton. “With funerals taking 45 minutes or more, I would say he has at least freed up 400 hours or more for an officer to do enforcement activities. We really, really appreciate that.”
Qualifications to be considered in the unit include: 1) Undergo and pass background and fingerprint checks. 2) Have a valid Tennessee driver’s license. 3) Commit to work a minimum of four hours per week and for a minimum of one year. 4) Undergo the required training. 5) Agree to be a volunteer and work without compensation.
The last requirement offered a lot of humor at Molloy’s retirement, with comments of salary being doubled after five years of service and volunteers earning 60 percent of their salary as a retirement benefit.
“I’ve done a lot of volunteer work where you don’t get paid,” said Molloy. “Incidentally, I want my retirement checks sent to First National Bank.”
Denton added, “The check is in the mail.”
Mayor Jimmy Haley offered thanks to Davenport, who passed away July 1, for establishing the program. Haley thanked Molloy, as well as all the individuals in the unit.
“PSU has freed up officer hours in providing so many services in the community,” said Haley. “Most folks consider you regular officers. They don’t know its PSU. They see you. Your faces are out there every day. They see you leading funerals. They see you directing traffic at accidents. With anything and everything, you have always been willing to pitch in. Mr. Molloy and his family go back so, so many years. Their dedication to law enforcement has made history in itself. It was continuing a great tradition for Mr. Molloy to step forward and join the program. I think he is well respected, not only by the PSU officers, but by all officers in the force. Mr. Molloy has been as asset to our city. Thank you for your service.”
Currently, PSU has seven members. Ten is optimal. Anyone interested in joining the unit may call 473-3808.