Leadership in Law Enforcement: Meet Leo Lugo
For over 20 years, Leonard “Leo” Lugo has served communities in and around New Jersey as a law enforcement professional. His natural leadership, coupled with his passion for helping others, has given him the ability to stand out in the law enforcement community. For many years, he has worked with the Township of Westfield and the Westfield Police Department. In addition to leadership roles in the department’s Detective Bureau and its patrol platoons. Leo helps to provide new officers with the skills and training they will need to succeed in their careers.
Education and Professional Qualifications
From the very beginnings of his career in law enforcement, Leo Lugo distinguished himself as a natural leader. In the close-knit law enforcement community, officers look to one another for support, guidance, and experience. Leo has been an instrumental part of every department he has served and has gained recognition for his achievements.
Leo Lugo graduated from William Paterson University in Wayne, New Jersey, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. During this time he was also serving in the NJ National Guard as a Military Policeman completing his Basic and Advanced training at Fort McClellan, AL. After completing his degree and spending some time in the private sector he was accepted into the City of Paterson Police Department’s academy, where he began his educational journey as a police officer. Even at this early stage, his instructors and supervisors recognized Mr. Lugo as a young man who was destined to achieve great things.
Throughout the course of his award-winning career as a law enforcement professional, Mr. Lugo has completed advanced coursework and training programs with state and national organizations. Among his professional certifications are:
National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) SWAT Command
Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Hostage Negotiator
FBI Basic SWAT Officer
Department of Homeland Security Command-Level Incident Command and Supervision
Police Training Commission Firearms and Rifle Instructor
These are only a few of his many certifications; Leo Lugo is a versatile officer who has an unquenchable thirst for mastering new skills and for passing those skills onto the next generation of police professionals.
Detective Bureau Command
Leo Lugo started his professional career as a patrol officer for the Paterson Police Department in Paterson, New Jersey. In 2001, he transferred to the Township of Westfield, continuing as a patrol officer and a Police Academy instructor for the township’s police department. Later, he joined the department’s Detective Bureau, giving him the chance to tackle major crimes in the area. He was promoted to the rank of Detective Sergeant after a short period of time.
In 2013, his leadership abilities were formally recognized, and Leo Lugo was appointed as the Detective Bureau Commander for the Westfield PD. As the Bureau Commander, his role was to supervise a team of detectives as they investigated juvenile and adult criminal offences. He also provided training and guidance to fellow detectives, prepared cases for trial, and followed up with witnesses. In 2018, Leo Lugo stepped aside as the Bureau Commander and took a position as a Platoon Supervisor for the Westfield PD patrol division. In this new role, he is an integral part of training new officers on-field tactics, and investigative skills.
Leonard Lugo has worn many hats as a police leader. Based on his skill in the field and his mastery of complex law enforcement concepts, he has been given the opportunity to serve in diverse roles. First, with his FBI and Department of Homeland Security training completed, he worked as Westfield's Municipal Counterterrorism Coordinator and was also appointed as the Department’s Assistant Commander for the Emergency Response Unit.
He continued to stand out in the field and was recognized by the township for his achievements as a Detective and as a police training leader. While working in the Emergency Response Unit, he received specialized hostage negotiations and special tactics training. Union County, of which Westfield is a part, had established a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team. Mr. Lugo was chosen to be the Crisis and Hostage Negotiations Team Leader for this active unit of which he served for 10 years.
Leo Lugo continues to have a vital role in shaping the future of the law enforcement community. As a trainer and leader, his work experiences are being passed down to the next generation of police professionals. He is a testament to hard work, community service, and the leadership qualities that have helped him stand out in his profession. Visit his website for more information: https://www.leonardlugo.com/