As stated in the April general membership meeting, Officer Leon Laureano, assigned to Central storefront, was not being honored for heroism in the face of danger or solving a major case.
Instead, Laureano was recognized for his heart and compassion for his fellow man and how he put that strong heart to use to go beyond the call of duty to help a homeless family.
While in the course of his regular duties, Officer Laureano encountered a man and his wife and their two children, ages 2 and 14, who were homeless. OK, this was not an uncommon event in Houston. But the officer was immediately struck by its uniqueness.
The family had fled Cuba through Central America and Mexico – and crossed the border into Texas legally. They were granted asylum.
However, Laureano learned that they had no money, no place to stay, didn’t speak English and, literally, had only the clothes on their backs.
Officer Laureano changed all of this.
Despite his efforts, every shelter rejected the family. Yet due to the officer’s efforts, they eventually were quartered in a tent on the property of one of the shelters.
“He immediately took the family to a store and bought clothing for all of them as their clothing was inadequate to handle the temperature,” HPOU’s Luis Menendez-Sierra reported. “Officer Laureano then fed the family as he knew that they were in need of some nourishment.
“At this point you would have thought he had done enough, but not Officer Laureano! The next day he checked on the family once again and assisted in finding them shelter and connecting them with the proper officials so that the father could begin working.”
And so, due to Officer Leon Laureano’s generosity and unwavering support of complete strangers, he was honored at the April 7 general membership meeting as the HPOU Patrol Officer of the Month.