NOLENSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —No you’re not seeing double, Nolensville Assistant Police Chief Mike Terns says. The police department now has a set of identical twins on the force.
Officer Matt Neal joined the team last month to serve alongside his brother Kyle Neal, who has been a police officer with the Nolensville Police Department for a little over a year. But this isn’t the first time they’ve worked together.
In fact, growing up, they did nearly everything together, including playing the same sports. With a history of service in their family, it was only natural that at 21 years old, the Neal brothers decided to go through their local police academy together.
“We were the first twins to go through the academy, I think, in our region of Ohio,” Matt said. “He sat two rows in front of me in the academy.”
Kyle said it had always been their plan to go into law enforcement together.
“Honestly we’re very similar,” he said.
“In high school we had talked about it, and I don’t know if there ever was like one specific thing, but I think we wanted to be a part of a group that was bigger than ourselves, and it just kind of happened that way,” Matt added.
After graduating from the academy, they worked together at a police department just outside of Dayton, Ohio for about a year and a half until Kyle was recruited by the Nolensville Police Department.
“We’re always looking for talented people,” Terns said. “He had worked here for a few years and Matt came down and he liked the department, and we had a job opening. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to.”
Born about 45 minutes apart, the only telltale difference between the Neal brothers is their hairstyles. However, even without a hat, it can be difficult to tell them apart.
“I think I’m the first one that made the mistake,” Terns said. “We had a subpoena for Kyle, and I thought I was talking to Kyle, but I was talking to Matt.”
“We’re 30, so we’ve been dealing with this our entire lives,” Matt added. “So, you could call me Kyle and most of the time I just respond.”
While Matt is still going through Nolensville’s field training program, Terns said he will likely keep the brothers on separate shifts once his training is complete.
“I think that would be way too confusing,” Terns said. “I can’t imagine them rolling up on the same traffic stop and having two guys who look exactly the same.”
It’s only been about two weeks since he joined the police department and Matt said the confusion from the Nolensville community has already begun. While working a crash on Thursday, Kyle said a tow truck driver mistook him for his brother.
“He was like ‘This crash wasn’t nearly as bad as the one the other day, remember?’” Kyle said.
“And it was a crash that I had about four or five days ago,” Matt said. “My first crash here, actually.”
However, there are some advantages to having a twin brother on the job. Having been close their whole lives, Matt and Kyle often turn to each other for advice, sharing frequent phone calls since Matt started training.
“I think the main thing for me is it’s cool to have family here finally,” Kyle said. “Hopefully this starts a chain of other family moving here.”
It’s not just their unique situation that put their job applications at the top of the stack. Terns said the Neal brothers also bring a lot of skills as officers to the Nolensville Police Department. In total, they have about nine years of experience.
“It’s all about talent. The fact that they’re twins is secondary. It’s the fact that they’re excellent officers,” Terns said. “Kyle arrived at the department, he was trained, everyone had good things to say about him. So, we expect the same out of Matt when he gets to sole patrol.”
Despite the initial confusion between the two, the community has welcomed the Neal brothers with open arms. Matt said he has seen a lot of positivity in Nolensville and plans to serve the city alongside his brother for many years to come.
“I love the people here. Everyone’s been so welcoming,” he said. “Even the citizens have been so welcoming. So, I think I’m really going to like it here and stay here for a long time.”
“Nolensville is a great community and we’re a very community-oriented department,” Kyle added. “I knew Matt would like it here right away. It’s just a great place to work.”