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Girard officer on leave over parties

Published: Thu, February 13, 2014 @ 12:09 a.m.

By emmalee torisk



A Girard patrol officer is on paid leave after police said they found juveniles drinking beer and smoking marijuana in a garage at his house.

No charges have been filed against the officer, Larry Neely, who has been with the Girard Police Department since 2008.

Police had received numerous tips regarding underage drinking at Neely’s Mosier Road house, a police report says.

Police said they were told the parties typically occurred on Saturdays and began between 9:30 and 10 p.m. Those who attended them would park a short walking distance away from the house.

About 11 p.m. Saturday, officers on patrol noticed cars beginning to park on Iowa Avenue, which is adjacent to Neely’s residence. They also observed several juveniles quickly walking from their cars to the residence, apparently trying not to be seen.

Police met an 18-year-old in the driveway, and they went to the garage. There, they smelled marijuana and found beer cans on a pingpong table. In the garage were juveniles and adults who are not old enough to drink, a police report says.

Mayor Jim Melfi said the police department is investigating to what extent Neely knew about the parties, if he knew at all.

“Our concern is and always will be the welfare of the children,” he said.

Police Chief Jeff Palmer said Neely’s leave is in accordance with the department’s protocol, and it began immediately after Saturday night’s incident.

Palmer added that the duration of his leave depends on how long the department’s internal investigation takes, explaining that the next step is to finish interviewing those involved. He hopes to wrap up the investigation by the end of this week.

Staff writer Jeanne Starmack contributed to this report.


1Bevan(7 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

No doubt this guy will ALSO plead "I'm innocent!....I just host these parties every weekend, and word gets out, and the kids bring stuff, but how was I, a trained officer of the law, educated in criminal activity and employed to ensure the safety of the community by arresting those who break the law--how was I to know they were doing drugs?" Dah. Fire him. And take away his right to ever be an 'officer of the law' again. Anywhere. He deserves--and we the community deserve-- no less.

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2billdog1(941 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

One incident I can believe he may not have known, but this has been going on long enough for the department to get wind of it, then he had to be a part of it. It says something about this officers maturity level. Agreed Bevan, he should loose the right to ever be able to be a police officer again. This is disturbing and gives the public that ideology that all officers are bad or think they are above the law. I think BCI should be brought in on this one.

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3papa1(641 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

this man is certainly not an example of the girard police dept. they should throw the book at him!!

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4sweatpea(114 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Surprised that opinion is so strong against this officer.....must be a lot more to this story. As far as I've known (not being a Girard citizen) this Chief has an impecable reputation...isn't that correct?

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5FreedomTruth(20 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"Police met an 18-year-old (Legal Adult) in the driveway, and they went to the garage. There, they smelled marijuana (How would they know?)and found beer cans on a pingpong table. (Ohhh a Ping-Pong table) In the garage were juveniles and adults who are not old enough to drink". (Adults who are not old enough to drink?) Really? Wow, I'm sure to get good sleep tonight knowing lives will be ruined. BTW, please don't believe everything you read from the press....They report what they are told to report.

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6Repubs4theRich(124 comments)posted 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Let the investigation run its course before you hang the guy. Maybe it is a case of him trusting his 18 year old to be by him or herself, or to have a few friends over to hang out. He wasn't at home during the incident(s), he was at work. I don't know all of the facts, and neither do most of you reading this, so don't rush to judgement. Now if it is shown that he indeed had knowledge or permitted the party, or provided the beverages, then he should be fired and have charges filed against him. Kudos to the Girard PD for taking action on something involving one of their own instead of protecting or turning a blind eye.

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