Neal has been a Police Officer for more than 25 years. He has worked his way through the position of detective and been involved in many community projects many of which he has initiated. He doesn’t just wear the uniform... he lives and breathes his chosen occupation and is a great example for his colleagues to follow.
Neal initiated and developed the “Safe Parks Program”, which was successful in curbing vandalism in public city parks and consequently saving communities considerable amounts of money in damages. His program expanded across the region into other communities like Welland, Thorold and Niagara Falls. (The St Catharines Standard article January 18, 2003)
Neal was also presented with an award of excellence by the Ontario Crime and Control Commission on behalf of Ontario Premier Ernie Eves for the “Safe Parks Program”.
He has been an outspoken proponent of the amount of data being inputted by officers and the education required to keep up with the new technology needed for reporting, reinforcing that it does take more time but the amount of detail given is in direct proportion for achieving a successful investigation.
Neal helped spearhead a partnership with the Niagara Ice Dogs Ontario Hockey League team where players visits schools and the club holds a teddy bear toss where more than a thousand Teddy’s bears were collected and distributed to Niagara Victim Crisis Support Service, community Care and local hospitals for children involved in traumatic circumstances.
He has been very involved in the COPSHOP program and committed hundreds of hours of his own personal time to help disadvantaged children.
He also donates his time to Beamsville Minor Baseball, Lincoln Community Policing and Community Care of West Niagara food drives.
He was awarded Officer of the Year by the Niagara Regional Police Association in 2009.
Throughout his career Neal has always taken initiative and looked for problem areas in whichever community he was assigned and would concentrate on attempting to come up with a solution to those problems.
Chief Gary Nicholls once indicated that Neal is one of those officers who often are a step ahead of managers with initiatives because they are much closer to the problem.
These are Neal’s achievements that I am aware of. I am sure there are many areas in which he has made a difference. I believe he should be chosen to fill the spot of “Hero” for all of his dedicated efforts and sacrifices.