By Rabbi Yair HoffmanJoin our WhatsApp group
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He had travelled many times to Israel to lend them his expertise. Alfred McNeill was a remarkable example of a military and police expert who told it like it is, and did so – when he saw mistakes and tweaks when battling crime and terrorism. He was one of those rare, larger than life, individuals whose contribution to the safety of others was deeply significant.
Mr. McNeill, a resident of Inwood in the Five Towns, passed away last summer. He began his law enforcement career in 1971 as Deputy United States Marshall in the Brooklyn, New York office. He subsequently advanced through the ranks at the United States Marshal’s Service, focusing on advising local, state and federal agencies on security matters. He was granted Top Security clearance by the National Security Agency.
Alfred NcNeil eventually became the US Marshal in charge of the Federal Witness Protection program.
Mr. McNeill’s trips to Israel, among others involved advising YaSaM Yerakon, the special unit of the Israel Police that handles criminals and terrorists who carry firearms. Those who serve in YaSaM Yerakon are permanent personnel who graduated from combat units in the IDF or the Mageb. They have the unit’s warrior pin.
Mr. McNeill’s work was important because many of the moshavim in Israel are not directly protected by the IDF, but rather by YaSaM Yerakon.
The fighters are required to be available around the clock, and they train regularly in professional subjects including physical fitness, marksmanship, fighting terrorism, Krav Maga, advanced demonstration dispersal tactics, operational driving, cooperation with other forces, first aid and more.
Mr. McNeil was eminently qualified for the task. He was the recipient of the coveted United States Department of Justice Public Service Award. Additionally, the Canadian, Israeli, Italian, Australian and French governments honored him for his assistance to their governments.
Mr. McNeill served in the United States Army. For his service in the Vietnam War, he was awarded the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Overseas Service Ribbon and the Vietnam Service Ribbon.
His daughters Kim and Trish continue their father’s shining example of public service. Trish heads an investigative unit for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and Kim is a nurse in a hospital in Manhattan. His son, AJ, (Alfred Junior) took care of his father during his illness.
The Jewish community of the Five Towns and the State of Israel appreciate all the efforts, known and unknown, of Mr. Alfred McNeil for the safety of Israel’s residents.