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Police & Fire

Familiar Face To Return To Serve As Police Chief In Westchester Town

Chris McNerney. Photo Credit: Greenburgh Police Department
Greenburgh interim Police Chief Brian Ryan Photo Credit: File

A familiar face is returning after spending less than a year in the District Attorney's Office to take over from the man who replaced him as police chief in a Westchester town.

Greenburgh Police Chief Brian Ryan will be stepping down at the end of September, the Town Board announced. Replacing him will be former Police Chief Chris McNerney at a Town Board meeting on Wednesday, July 8.

Ryan has been with the Greenburgh Police Department in various capacities for 31 years. His last day on the job will be on Tuesday, Sept. 29, officials said.

Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said that “the members of the Town Board were surprised by the announcement, would have welcomed his reappointment, and expressed disappointment with his final decision.”

Feiner made note of some of the challenges Ryan faced in the past year, including the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, protesters in the wake of incidents of police brutality, and multiple vehicle-pedestrian crashes.

“During the local peak of the COVID-19 crisis, the police department faced a problem: running a department when many police officers were sick with COVID-19,” town officials noted.

“Chief Ryan successfully managed to keep the department operational even though as many as 22 officers and paramedics contracted the virus-- including the Chief, who continued to work, sequestered, while recovering from his illness.”

Ryan reported he was the one to recommend and encourage McNerney to return to the department. McNerney will be reinstated as Police Chief on Wednesday, effective as of Monday, Aug. 17. He had been serving as the Chief of Investigations in the District Attorney’s office.

”While we are very disappointed that Chief Ryan will be retiring we believe that the Police Department and town will continue to be in very good hands with Chris McNerney as our Chief of Police,” town officials said. “There will be a short transition period between when Chief McNerney returns and Chief Ryan retires, part of which time will be used for reforms to be discussed.”

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