Former Amarillo Chief of Police Jerry Neal passes away

The Amarillo Police Department announced on Wednesday that retired Chief of Police Jerry Neal has passed away.

Neal was the Chief of Police in Amarillo, Texas from February 16, 1981 until March 31, 2007. He is the longest serving Chief in the history of the APD.

Chief Neal was the Assistant Chief of Police in Norman, Oklahoma before being hired in Amarillo by former City Manager John Stiff. He oversaw major changes and improvements in the Amarillo Police Department including involvement in the Special Crimes Unit, partnering with the original Bridge Children’s Advocacy Center, creation of the original bicycle mounted officers of the Community Oriented Police /Problem Solving Unit, providing patrol officers with training and better tools to improve their ability to gather their own evidence, Peer Counseling, and development of the volunteer parking enforcement program.

Several community outreach programs were also started under Neal's watch, including the Citizen’s and Student Police Academies. The department’s sworn strength grew from 234 officers to 312 officers under Chief Neal and he was instrumental in the move to the current building.

In his 26 years with the APD, Chief Neal helped modernize and shape the department into what it is today. He is remembered as a fair boss, a great leader and a good friend.

Neal's legacy at the Amarillo Police Department lives on through his son Officer Kent Neal.

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