Wednesday, April 18, 2007

More information comes in about Walter McNeil

Walter A. McNeil, Secretary
Department of Juvenile Justice

"I believe that each of us, at some point in our lifetime, must decide how to best serve our fellow citizens. In my case, the decision to accept the leadership role at DJJ was easy. I am the former Chief of Police of Tallahassee, Florida, having served as Chief for the last 10 years of my 28-year career in law enforcement. In that role, I enthusiastically embraced opportunities to help implement programs for children who were influenced or impacted by crime. These include partnering with local and state community leaders, advocacy groups, citizens, and public policymakers to address gang interdiction, educational outreach on juvenile crime, and local implementation of a statewide initiative that addresses all aspects of children's needs."

Walt McNeil, Secretary


Secretary Walter McNeil has devoted his time not only to the Tallahassee community, but also to the safety and well being of children. He is married to Gloria and the father of three children: Tara, Mackey, & Victoria

Secretary McNeil holds a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from St. Johns University in Springfield, Louisiana. He also began his graduate work in Criminal Justice at the University of Virginia and has a Bachelor of Science Degree from University of Southern Mississippi. His extensive education also includes completion of the Federal Bureau of Investigations National Academy, the Florida Criminal Justice Chief Executive Institute, the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Management Development Program, and the Unisys Corporation program on "Managing People".


Adjunct College Instructor – Florida A&M University

Currently serves as Board Member of the International Association of Police Chiefs
Member of the International Association of Police Chiefs since 1988

Recognized by the 100 Black Men of America, Inc. Tallahassee Chapter for Outstanding Service to the Community

Past Board Member of the Tallahassee Senior Citizen Committee

Serves as Florida’s Representative to (IACP) International Association of Police Chiefs, State Associations of Chiefs

Appointed by Governor Jeb Bush to serve as a State of Florida Criminal Justice and Training Commissioner

Member of (NOBLE) National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives since 1989

Chairman for the 2003 Tallahassee American Heart Association Heart Walk Fundraising Campaign

Member of the New Mt. Zion AME Church, Tallahassee, FL; 16+ years.

Member of the Tallahassee Southside Rotary Club

Past Member of the Tallahassee Northside Kiwanis Civic Club

Served as a Board Member for the Tallahassee Community College Foundation

Recognized as the Man of the Year by Bethel Baptist Church – Tallahassee

Recognized by the U.S. Attorney Northern District of FL for Outstanding Service to Law Enforcement

Board Member for the Florida Police Chiefs Association

Honored by the Tallahassee Chapter of the National Forum for Black Administrators as the Public Sector Business Person of the Year

Past Board Member for the Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce

Cultural Diversity Consultant

Membership on various Law Enforcement Organizations

Fifth (5th) Vice President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police
2006 NAACP Humanitarian Award Recipient

Current Board Member of Boys and Girls Town of Tallahassee


We want to extend our appreciation to Mr. McNeil for all of his efforts in trying to change a broken system (the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice - DJJ) and in trying to "clean house", as he said. "Heads are going to roll, people will be fired, charges will be pressed," is what he told Mark Caldwell.


Isabelle Zehnder
Dawn Chase
Mark Caldwell
Cathy Corry
All of the kids in DJJ

Subject:Fwd: Alleged DJJ abuse 4/15/07 at MATS in Bradenton - DJJ CC #2007-02507
Date:Wednesday, April 18, 2007 11:32:00 AM

Hi Mr. McNeil,

It seems we now have another problem that requires your immediate attention, a staff member at this facility as you can see is causing permanent brain damage to these youth by cutting off oxygen to their brains, this is a very severe type of abuse, I expect to hear of your prompt action today to remove this staff member!!

Sincerely Mark Caldwell

----- Forwarded message from -----
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 12:48:09 -0400
Subject: Alleged DJJ abuse 4/15/07 at MATS in Bradenton - DJJ CC #2007-02507


The following allegations (emails below) were reported to DJJ CCC this morning by me. I received this abuse allegation information from a non-anonymous writer. DJJ CCC Duty Officer Alex assigned this as CCC Incident #2007-02507.

This is the facility name and address where Guard Williams allegedly choked youths Ronlorenzo Edwards and Luis Paul on 4/15/07:

Manatee Adolescent Treatment Services
1324 37th Ave East
Bradenton FL

Cathy Corry -

----- Forwarded Message -----
From: [-- deleted for anonymity - -]
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2007 01:56:31 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Re: violence, child harm

Ronlorenzo was choked first on Sunday (4/15/2007). I am not sure what time it happened.

Luis Paul was choked the same day (Sunday 4/15/07) right after Ronlorenzo from my understanding.

[-- deleted for anonymity - -] said that he made a statement to a Deputy from the sheriff's department, so I would have to guess if the Manatee Sheriff's Department has jurisdiction then that is where it is filed.

[-- deleted for anonymity - -] did give a statement to the officer that took the report though. [-- deleted for anonymity - -] also told me now that they actually gave him a release date which is [-- deleted for anonymity - -] that he has no problem talking to anyone that he needs to but he would like a promise or something in writting that there will be no chance of retaliation and that anyone changing that date will not be tolerated.

If you need to speak to me please feel free to call at any time. My phone number [-- deleted for anonymity - -]

Thank you for your fast response. I really appreciate all that you do for everyone (YOU ARE ONE IN A MILLION!!!) wrote:
[-- deleted for anonymity - -],

Please answer the following if you know the answer:

What DATE/TIME did Williams choke Ronlorenzo Edwards?
What DATE/TIME did Williams choke Luis Paul?
What police agency was called? Manatee Sheriff or Bradenton Police?

Cathy Corry -

On Tue, 17 Apr 2007 17:30:54 -0700 (PDT) [-- deleted for anonymity - - ]writes:

Dear Cathy

I got a call from [-- deleted for anonymity - -] he and some other people from the Bradington center call me to ask me to get in touch with you about a guard by the name of Williams (the only williams) choked two different boys 1 was Ronlorenzo Edwards 2 Luis Paul. Witnesses are Daniel Kelley, Adam Dickey, Thadius Campbell, Liliandre Grubbes, D. Luis, Terrance Moore.

Williams choked Ronlorenzo out till he was on conscience, his eyes were rolled back in his head and he started floppy around like a fish, when he came to Williams did this again for a total of 4 times. He also did this to Luis Paul. The witnesses tried to turn the cameras so that it would be caught on tape. The police were called and a report was done. They were told that they were not going to report this to DJJ.

All these kids are scared of this man but they want something done and they will do whatever it takes. Please let me know.

Thank you
[-- deleted for anonymity - -]