Wednesday, April 18, 2007


"And let there be Justice for All, including our children!" I. Zehnder

Mr. Walter McNeil has acknowledged that time for change in the Florida Juvenile Justice System is now! There is no time to waste - children are being abused, neglected, and far too many have died in this system - even one is too many!

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

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