Mr. Leal has over 33 years of professional law enforcement experience serving with the Alameda County and San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department, and the Newark Police Department. He served in a variety of assignments, including as a member of the Special Enforcement Unit, a Motor Officer, Property and Persons Crimes Detective, Field Training Officer, SWAT Team Leader, and Sniper. He was named Newark’s Officer of the Year in 1995, and rose to the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Captain. Mr. Leal was appointed to the position of Police Chief in 2008 and retired from Newark in 2017, the eighth Police Chief since the City’s incorporation in 1955. Mr. Leal has been credited with making numerous safety equipment, training and program improvements to the department, forming numerous community policing programs, assisting in the development of public-school safety programs and assisting in a number of contract negotiations and contract dispute resolution. Mr. Leal has continued to assist municipalities and departments through consultations, mentoring, strategic and succession planning and employee development, including spending time as Interim Police Chief in cities such as Nevada City, California.
Mr. Leal earned his Associate of Arts degree in Administration of Justice from Chabot Community College in 1985. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Management from St. Mary’s College in 2003, as well as his Master’s Degree in Public Leadership in 2006. He has been an Administration of Justice Instructor at both Ohlone and Chabot Community Colleges. He is a graduate of the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training Command College and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Policing in Boston. Mr. Leal has published articles for the California Police Officer Association as well as a number of news publications.
Mr. Leal is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the California Police Chiefs Association (CPCA), and the California Police Officers Association. He has served on the Law and Legislation Committee and as the Chair of the CPCA statewide traffic safety committee. He has worked directly with legislators to represent the interests of law enforcement and improve public safety laws. Mr. Leal was also on the CPCA Board of Directors for Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano Counties. He has also served as President of the Alameda County Chiefs and Sheriffs Association. He is a member and former Director of International Services and President of the Newark Rotary Club.