With more than 17 years of experience in a variety of law enforcement positions, Statesboro resident Ryan McNeal has come home, having been named as the new chief of police for Ogeechee Technical College.
McNeal, married to Bulloch County Clerk of Courts Heather McNeal, came to Statesboro as a Georgia Southern University student, and in 2002, started work as a Statesboro Police officer. That job soon led to his joining the Tri Circuit Drug Task Force, which covered a number of counties. Being hired by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation followed that, with McNeal later moving up to serve as a criminal investigator for the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.
Most recently, McNeal worked as chief investigator with the Georgia Department of Community Health, Board of Dentistry, but he jumped at the chance to “come home” to serve as OTC’s new law enforcement leader.
The father of a 9-year-old son, Charlie, McNeal is happy that he is able to work in a top law enforcement position that keeps him closer to home. “I enjoy (a position) that allows me not to have to travel,” he told the Statesboro Herald.
His official title is director for Campus Safety and Security/Chief of Police. He is the third police chief in the college’s history and succeeds Stan York.
York was named police chief at Ogeechee Tech in 2013 and recently retired. York served in law enforcement for more than 40 years including 34 with the Statesboro PD, the last eight years as chief.
According to OTC President Lori Durden, the college “maintains a Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST) certified police agency which is responsible for law enforcement at all of the college’s campuses and centers.”
McNeal’s vast experience will be a boon for the college, she said. “I am excited to have Ryan join our leadership team. His level of experience and knowledge will be an asset to our campus ensuring the continued safety of our students, employees and visitors.”
McNeal said he feels as if he is where he needs to be when it comes to Statesboro and OTC.
“I am honored to be the police chief of Ogeechee Technical College,” he said. “From the moment I stepped on campus, I knew this was the place for me.”
A “double Eagle,” (meaning he has two degrees from Georgia Southern University), McNeal earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies and Master of Public Administration from GSU. He also holds a Masters for Homeland Security and Emergency Management from Kaplan University.
Taking things a step further, McNeal is currently taking part in firefighter training with the Bulloch County Fire Department to become a level 1 certified firefighter.
He is a member of Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and a member of the Statesboro Rotary Club.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at 912-489-9414.