A pair of longtime South Pasadena Police Department employees will be recognized for their service to the community Saturday night during a joint retirement dinner at the Almansor Court in Alhambra.
Mike Neff, a captain, and Bill Earley, a motorcycle officer, will be honored for their many contributions to the department at the event, starting at 6 p.m. with a cocktail hour, followed by dinner at 7 p.m.
Neff, who began his career in 1974 as a police explorer for the LAPD Pacific Division, has nearly done it all in law enforcement and worked his way up to captain with the South Pasadena Police Department in 2015. In between, he’s been a reserve police officer, parking control officer, police officer, detective, agent, sergeant, detective sergeant, support services division sergeant, and acting captain twice.
He worked the 1884 Olympics, the 1992 LA riots, the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, the 1994 World Cup FIFA Soccer Championships and the 2015 Special Olympics.
“Captain Neff was one of the first people that I met after I was appointed chief,” said former South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller, who left the city last summer to become the police chief for the City of Peoria in Arizona. “From the first day that I met Mike he has been consistently positive. One of Mike’s many qualities is his passion for his position as a law enforcement professional.”
Miller said Neff, who left the department October 3, had the unique ability to maintain a positive attitude regardless of the situation. “He was a committed officer who always made public safety his number one priority,” noted Miller. “I admire Mike for his commitment to his family and being an excellent role model for his children. Mike always would speak so highly of his wife, Norma, who has been by his side throughout the many years of police service he has served. Mike created a positive work environment where people wanted to come to work. Mike’s smile and sense of humor leave an indelible mark on my mind.”
Earley started his police work as an officer in 1986 and over the years has patrolled the streets by motorcycle as well as serving as a detective, an explosion investigator and corporal. His last day working for the department was October 15.
“Bill Earley stands out in my mind as a well rounded and experienced police officer,” said Miller, who worked with both officers about five years. “He worked a variety of assignments and was always willing to impart his knowledge to less experienced officers. I could always count on Bill to handle complex cases. Towards the end of his career, Bill expressed an interest in finishing it off as a motorcycle officer. Bill had to go through a rigorous training regimen that was strenuous, technical and required a lot of physical strength. I was impressed that Bill wanted to be considered for the position and even more impressed that he completed the training, especially because his instructor was Senior Motor Officer Jeff Holland [from the SPPD].”
Both will turn to recreation, Neff enjoying fishing in Big Bear, and Earley boating at June Lake, as the move onto the next chapter in their life.
The Almansor Court is at 700 South Almansor Street in Ahambra.
For tickets, contact Idessa Gonzales at (626) 403-7291.