Richard Neal was born March 11, 1940, in Philadelphia, PA, to the late Robert and Rebecca Neal. He was the youngest of four brothers who preceded him in death. He spent his final days in the loving company of his family. On December 11, 2021, Richard entered his eternal resting place.
On October 6, 1962, Richard married Dolores Rodgers. From this union, two sons were born, Richard, Jr, and Jason. Richard was a gentle giant who was devoted to his wife and children. He was stern yet loving and could brighten up any room with his incredible smile. "Hon," as his family and close friends affectionately knew him, lived a purposeful life. He was the wind beneath his wife's wings.
Richard received his formal education in the Philadelphia public school system, graduating from Bok Vocational Technical High School in 1957. Richard entered the Philadelphia Police Department on April 2, 1962. During his 36-year career in law enforcement, he accomplished outstanding achievements moving up the ranks of the police department. On August 20, 1992, he received his appointment as the 11th Police Commissioner of Philadelphia. During his tenure as commissioner, his goal was to focus on the mission of the police department and enact improvements that supported the police department's mission. To aid in accomplishing these goals, he implemented the following programs: splitting the patrol bureau and decentralizing the field detectives, combined patrol districts, mobile mini stations, instituting citywide bike patrols, cultural diversity training, hate crime training and investigation, youth initiatives, citizens police academy, crime analysis committee, and implemented the helicopter unit. As a police officer, he understood the importance of developing future police officers and made significant training improvements at the police academy. Under the Federal Cops Ahead program, he obtained funding to construct a new police academy training facility.
Richard was a member of numerous law enforcement professional associations and received numerous honors and awards. To name a few, The U.S. Attorney General's William French Smith Award for outstanding contribution to cooperative law enforcement and citations from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, the Philadelphia City Council, and awards from the Korean Association, the citywide anti-drug group network, the Wolf Baron Lodge Overbrook, the Philadelphia Housing Authority, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Richard will always be cherished and remain in the hearts of his wife Dolores; they were married for 59 years. Sons, Richard Jr and Jason, daughters in love, Laila and Jenelle, his granddaughters Chelsea, Gabrielle, Simone, and other family members and friends.