HPD Officer Ernest Leal, Jr. dies after battling COVID-19

Senior Police Officer Ernest Leal Jr., 60, died Friday after battling the coronavirus since October.

HOUSTON — Houston Police misplaced one in all their very own Friday to COVID-19.

Senior Police Officer Ernest Leal Jr., 60, died Friday after battling the coronavirus since October.

Editor’s be aware: The video above aired on Nov. 23, 2020.

Officer Leal had served with HPD since 1984. He began his HPD profession within the Northeast Patrol Division and within the Jail Division. He moved to the North Patrol Division in 1989 the place he had served ever since. Officer Leal was part of a 13-person Differential Response Unit which focuses on attending to the foundation of public nuisance crimes like unlawful playing, unlawful dumping and unlawful therapeutic massage parlors.

“We have truly lost a man who defines what it means to be a public servant,” Chief Art Acevedo stated in an announcement.

Officer Leal leaves behind his spouse, Dee, and youngsters Victor, Veronica, Virginia and Vannessa. He can also be survived by his mom, Rosa, two brothers, David and Marcus, and sister, Brenda. Officer Leal was preceded in demise by his father, Ernest.

Officer Leal and Dee, a retired Houston police officer, are neighborhood volunteers. Officer Leal typically connects with neighbors via National Night Out occasions. Earlier within the pandemic, he attended a automobile parade within the Shepherd Forest Subdivision.

Officer Leal is HPD’s fifth line-of-duty demise prior to now 12 months and the division’s first from COVID-19. Over the previous few weeks, native legislation enforcement has misplaced a number of officers— some taken whereas within the line of responsibility and others to the coronavirus.

At least 4 COVID-related deaths of officers have been confirmed this 12 months, together with three veteran Harris County sheriff’s deputies and a Harris County Precinct 5 constable deputy.

Mayor Sylvester Turner launched the next assertion on Officer Leal’s demise, in addition to the demise of Joel Cirilo, a public works worker who died Wednesday after battling COVID-19.

“Mayor Sylvester Turner tonight sends his condolences to the households of two City of Houston workers who died this week because of COVID-19.  

“Houston Public Works (HPW) worker Joel Cirilo handed away on Wednesday, Nov. 25, after bravely preventing COVID-19 within the hospital for the previous week. Cirilo started his profession within the Code Enforcement Division on May 12, 2014. His spouse can also be an HPW worker. In an announcement tonight, Veronica Cirilo stated, ‘Joel can be missed a lot. He liked his job and our co-workers. He fought so courageously, however this virus has no mercy. Praying that 2021 brings no extra heartache attributable to COVID-19. I’m grateful for therefore many blessings Joel and I shared via the years.’

“Friday night, the Houston Police Department (HPD) introduced Senior Officer Ernest Leal Jr.’s line of responsibility demise attributable to COVID-19. Officer Leal joined HPD in 1984 and served with honor and compassion.

“As a city, we collectively mourn and feel the grief and heartache of losing two employees in the same week as a result of COVID-19. I ask all Houstonians to pray for the families of Officer Ernest Leal and Joel Cirilo. In their own way, they contributed to our city and made life better for all of us. I am grateful for their dedication and service to the City of Houston,” stated Mayor Turner. “COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate. It is an insidious virus that has claimed far too many lives in Houston and across the nation. Each of us should do our half to cease the virus from spreading and destroying households.

“Since the start of the pandemic, COVID-19 has claimed the lives of 9 municipal workers, three Houston firefighters, and one Houston police officer.

“The Mayor reminds everyone to continue to mask up, practice social distancing, wash their hands frequently, and get tested.”


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