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Greenburgh Police Chief Brian Ryan has advised the Town Board of his desire to retire at the end of September. the Town Board, surprised and disappointed by his announcement, will reappoint Chris McNerney as Police Chief at the Town Board meeting on Wed.
Police Chief Brian Ryan who has served Greenburgh for 31 years in different capacities in the police department has advised the Town Board that he wishes to retire at the end of September. September 29 will be his last day. The members of the Town Board were surprised by the announcement, would have welcomed his reappointment, and expressed disappointment with his final decision. Nevertheless, the Board thanked him for his exceptional service during the past year that he has been interim Chief of Police. He has served us well.
During Chief Ryan’s tenure as Chief the town faced many challenges, including vehicle-pedestrian accidents, COVID-19, and protests targeted at police practices nationally.
Last year Greenburgh experienced a number of pedestrian/motorist accidents: some fatal. Chief Brian and his officers have been working, including during the pandemic, with town officials to continue to address these safety concerns long-term.
During the local peak of the COVID-19 crisis the police department faced a problem: running a department when many police officers were sick with COVID-19. Chief Ryan successfully managed to keep the department operational even though as many as 22 officers and paramedics contracted the virus-- including the Chief, who continued to work, sequestered, while recovering from his illness.
Following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, the Chief worked hard during the Black Lives Matter protests to highlight the fact that our town has been proactive for decades in addressing the concerns African Americans and others have experienced. He explained that Greenburgh has a very active Police Community Advisory Commission (since 1992) which continues to meet monthly, has implemented community policing initiatives, has promoted police summer youth camps to build relationships between our youth and our officers, and has officers trained on de-escalation techniques. He was also able to explain our town was the first police department in Westchester to equip each patrol officer with a body camera and ensures all Tasers provided our officers have a camera that automatically activates. Chief Ryan published a letter to the communication and taped a Public Service Announcement expressing his disgust with the actions of bad cops, calling them “an affront to decency and … the antithesis of the police mission.” Chief Ryan also personally spoke at rallies in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters and welcomed continued community input and reform.
As another example of Chief Ryan’s professionalism and dedication to the town, he didn’t want to leave a void in the Chief of Police position, so he encouraged former Police Chief Chris McNerney be reinstated as Chief of Police.
As announced by the Town Board last weekend on its posted agenda, former Police Chief Christopher McNerney will be reinstated as Chief of Police at the July 8, 2020 Town Board meeting effective August 17, 2020. He will be leaving his position as Chief of Investigations in the District Attorney’s office to take the position. We believe that both Chief Ryan and Chief McNerney are outstanding public servants. While we are very disappointed that Chief Ryan will be retiring we believe that the Police Department and town will continue to be in very good hands with Chris McNerney as our Chief of Police.
There will be a short transition period between when Chief McNerney returns and Chief Ryan retires, part of which time will be used for reforms to be discussed.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor