FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sgt. Allen Neal will retire on Feb. 18 after 25 years of service with the Springfield Police Department.
Sgt. Allen Neal began his law enforcement career with the Panola County Sherriff’s Office in Batesville, Miss. After three years in Mississippi, Sgt. Neal joined the 35th Police Academy at the Springfield Police Department in 1991. For the majority of his career, he was assigned to the Criminal Investigations Section, spending 24 years as a detective and working through the ranks of officer, corporal and sergeant.
Less than a year after joining the Springfield Police Department, Sgt. Neal was transferred to the Narcotics Unit where he conducted an investigation of the “Chicago Boys,” a violent group of gang members from Chicago who were running an organized crack cocaine distribution network. Sgt. Neal’s pivotal role as an investigator led to the indictments of several of these gang members along with the seizure of a significant amount of money, crack cocaine and other drugs.
“I can say with confidence that the work of Allen and his colleagues early in his career is, in large part, why we do not have a serious gang issue in Springfield,” said Police Chief Paul Williams.
Upon promotion to the rank of corporal in 1996, Sgt. Neal transferred to the Major Crimes Response Team where he investigated homicides and a variety of other major crimes. He remained in this unit until his promotion to the rank of sergeant in 2007, when he became the supervisor of the Violent Crimes Unit. He remained in this position for the rest of his career with the Springfield Police Department. During his time in these two positions, he was involved in the investigation of more than 170 homicides.
"He is one of the best detectives our department has had the benefit of working with in many years,” said Major Kirk Manlove. “Many crime victims in Springfield and the surrounding area received the justice they deserved due to the efforts of Allen Neal. His ability to quickly develop a rapport, and gain information from not only witnesses, but from suspects who were often career criminals, were unmatched."
At his retirement ceremony yesterday, Sgt. Neal was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of a career of distinguished service to the SPD and the community. The award is presented to department personnel with no less than 20 years of service and is intended to recognize a career of excellence above the normal duties that are expected of department personnel. The award recognizes excellence, dedication and initiative displayed by personnel that demonstrates as much commitment and enthusiasm for the job in their final years as they did in the first. Finally, being a recipient of this award represents the person’s position as a greatly respected role model and a credit to the agency.
“Sgt. Neal epitomizes the very meaning of this award and is a most deserving recipient,” Chief Williams said. “His dedication to duty and devotion to the department and the citizens of Springfield has never wavered from his first week on the job until now—his final week on the job”.
Throughout the years, Sgt. Neal has graciously lent his expertise to other law enforcement agencies tasked with homicide investigations in and around the Springfield area. In addition, he was elected as the vice president of the Springfield Police Officers Association in 1999, and in 2001, he began his term as president. He led the association until 2005 and was committed to improving working conditions and protecting the rights of his fellow officers with the same passion he exhibited while fighting for victims of violent crime.
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Media Contact: Lisa Cox, Public Affairs Officer
Release authorized by: Chief Paul Williams