Precinct 4 Constable Paul Leal was selected by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) to receive the 2022 State of Texas Law Enforcement Achievement Award for Public Service. Every year, TCOLE accepts nominations for their annual achievement awards and presents them to selected peace officers, reserve officers, custodial officers and telecommunicators licensed by TCOLE. The nominees are law enforcement professionals that have exceeded normal job expectations through acts of professional achievement, public service or valor. Each nomination was approved by the TCOLE Board of Commissioners in April.
Constable Leal was selected for his acts of service during the February 2021 ice storm, which happened just 45 days into his first term. Constable Leal used his own truck to relocate 23 people into his own home, so they could have heat and electricity. Constable Leal worked 12-16 hour shifts and delivered 600 pounds of food to 16 homes and 46 apartment units. He also delivered firewood to those who needed it and helped seven vehicles get back on the road.
Constable Leal put his own personal cell phone number on social media so that all citizens who needed help could reach out to him personally. He also provided a porta-potty to the local HEB so that it could open, using his own truck to get it there, and even arranged to have non-drinkable water brought to HEB so the grocery store's freezers could run. Williamson County Precinct 4 Lieutenant Mike Pendley nominated Constable Leal for the award.
"Constable Leal truly showed what it meant to be a servant of the community during the event," said Williamson County Precinct 4 Lieutenant Mike Pendley. "He was also giving out his personal cell number, as well as putting it on social media for anyone in need. He used his personal social media accounts and the office account to coordinate food, water and firewood donations."
Constable Leal attended an awards ceremony at the House of Representatives Chamber at the State Capitol in Austin on Friday, June 10, at 10 a.m. to receive the award. A reception at the Capitol Extension followed the ceremony.
"I am thrilled and honored to be the state of Texas recipient, but the people on the east side of Williamson County were the real heroes," said Precinct 4 Constable Paul Leal. "We put out a call on social media for things people needed, and they met those needs. We picked up food, firewood, medication and more. They were the real heroes, I was just the delivery person."