What Comes Next for the APD - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

01.18.07

What Comes Next for the APD

ASST. CHIEF PERRY GILMORE ASST. CHIEF PERRY GILMORE
ASST. CHIEF ROBERT TAYLOR ASST. CHIEF ROBERT TAYLOR

For the past 26 years, the Amarillo police department has been led by Chief Jerry Neal...but as of March 31st...the torch of leadership will be passed on... Because today...the chief has announced he will retire. 

City Manager Alan Taylor told us what the city was looking for when they found Neal, "There needed to be somebody from the outside to come in and restore confidence and to build the police department."
  

That somebody was Jerry Neal...an assistant chief of police in Norman Oklahoma. Neal was the man the city of Amarillo looked to...to rebuild a police department the community was losing confidence in. 
   

And on February 16th, 1981...the rebuilding began. 
 But, Neal says, it was not always an easy task, "You have to do something that isn't always popular, but hopefully they are in the best interest of everyone concerned."

Special crimes, traffic investigation, drive-by shootings...just a few of the new divisions within the department Chief Neal implemented. 
  

Neal gutted and rebuilt a struggling police department into one of the finest in the state. 

Taylor says, "The Amarillo Police Department is an anomoly to a lot of other cities in the state because we have had a chief that has served so well for 26 years."
 
  

Chief Neal will retire as one of the longest tenured police chiefs in Texas, but now he says he's ready to move onto other things. And when March 31st comes...Neal says he will retire here in Amarillo...in the city he loves. But he will miss the department "I'm gonna miss the job...Ii'll miss the people."

It will be up to Taylor to appoint the new chief, he says he is looking to Neal's two assistant chiefs to replace him...they are Colonel Robert Taylor and Colonel Perry Gilmore. They each have 25 years of service within the Amarillo Police Department

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