Suffolk County cop dies of 9/11-related cancer

A Long Island police detective who volunteered in Lower Manhattan in the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks has died.

Detective Stephen Mullen, of the Suffolk County Police Department, died Friday, Dec. 7, of cancer linked to 9/11, officials said. He was 55.

"The effects of the September 11 attacks are still being felt by first responders," Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. "He was dedicated to serving the people of Suffolk County for more than 25 years and his contributions will be missed by the department."

Mullen, a Massapequa resident, spent two days at Ground Zero after 9/11. This past summer, he received a diagnosis of salivary cancer, which eventually spread to his brain, police said.

He earned more than two dozen commendations in his career with the department, spent entirely at the First Precinct.

"He's a good guy, a great detective and a true family man," Detective Thomas Bosco said. "You knew you could always count on him. We always worked together as a team, as a unit. He will be missed. "

Mullen was dedicated to his family and church and was always helpful to his fellow detectives, according to Detective Lt. Shaun Spillane, his supervisor.

Mullen leaves behind his wife, Patricia, and two sons.

His funeral is scheduled for Dec. 15.