|Delphos’ first female police officer to retire after 33 years of service|
|Thursday, February 21, 2013 1:59 PM|
Bev Cross-McNeal has announced her retirement after 33 years of service.
Police Chief Kyle Fittro said she will be greatly missed at the department.
“After more than 33 years of personal and professional trials, tribulation and triumphs, Bev has proven to be an exceptional officer and an exceptional human being,” he said. “She is constantly striving to make the Delphos community a better place to live and work. She is an individual who is strong enough to put the bad guys in jail but compassionate and caring enough to support the community in numerous other ways.”
Cross-McNeal began her career with the police department as a dispatcher on June 18, 1979, while she was completing course work at the police academy. On Aug. 10, 1979, she graduated and nine days later was made an auxiliary patrol officer. She was on the auxiliary force from Aug. 19, 1979, to Nov. 3, 1979.
On Nov. 4, 1979, she made history when she was hired as the first full-time female police officer in Delphos.
“In addition to the standard police work of ‘putting the bad guys in jail,’ Bev wanted to find other ways to further assist the community,” Fittro said. “It didn’t take her long to find her niche. During the early ’80s, she began volunteering her time with the Delphos Community Christmas Project. She has assisted with the project for the last three decades and plans to continue helping with the effort after retirement.”
During the 1990s, Cross-McNeal spent countless hours volunteering in the public school system to help tutor and mentor children who needed her assistance.
Due to her numerous acts of public service and community involvement, Cross-McNeal was named the Delphos Herald Tri-County Woman of the Year in 1998. That same year, she was promoted to sergeant, the first female police supervisor Delphos had seen. She was then named head of the department’s Education Committee to ensure all police employees are properly trained on a variety of topics.
“Police technology, tactics and training is ever-evolving, therefore being the head of this committee was a great responsibility,” Fittro said. “Bev aptly commanded this committee for a number of years until it was replaced by another means of accomplishing the training.”
Cross-McNeal was also named to the Special Events Planning and Tactical Committee, helped train new officers, continued to educate herself by attending numerous training seminars and was placed in charge of scheduling for the whole department.
“When you are in charge of scheduling nearly two dozen people to operate an organization that never closes, you quirky realize was a hard task this is,” Fittro said.
“Bev excelled in this position and is widely regarded as one of the best supervisors to ever be in control of scheduling.”
In the past few years, Cross-McNeal has become deeply involved in the Delphos Wesleyan Church and currently holds dual offices as Wesleyan Women treasurer and secretary on the church board.
In 2012, she was chosen as grand marshal of the Marbletown Parade.