This January marks Leonard Kubiak’s fourth month with Westchase District Patrol, making him the patrol’s newest officer. As a high school student, Kubiak had early sights on becoming a police officer.
“Growing up I always wanted to be in a meaningful job where I could help people,” said Kubiak. “Becoming a police officer put me in line with where I saw myself in life. I see the job as a police officer as one that works for the betterment of society.”
After graduating from Alden High School in upstate New York, Kubiak studied criminal justice at Niagara University. He decided to come to Houston after getting job offers with another department in Washington, D.C. and considering working in major metropolitan areas like New York. Coming to Houston seemed like a good move since one of his mentors, his uncle, Tim Kubiak, had relocated here in the 90s and is a lieutenant with the Houston Police Department.
Having his uncle already serving in an agency that he wanted to join had a significant influence on Kubiak passing on the nation’s capital and transition south to begin his law enforcement career. He entered HPD’s Police Academy in 2012. “Coming to Houston seemed like the best fit plus I met my uncle’s coworkers and felt at home,” said Kubiak.
“I like our presence in the community,” said Kubiak. “We supplement and augment HPD officers and it gives people assurances about their safety. Since joining I see how important we are in the community and helping them with issues. Every shift I’ve had so far with Westchase District Patrol have been positive interactions with the public.”
Coming from a small rural town, Kubiak thought Buffalo (population 300,000) was the big city. “You come to a city like Houston with millions of people, the diverse nature matures you and prepares you.”
Getting a feel for the community
Kubiak says the difference between his normal shifts with HPD involve more enforcement of the law whereas Westchase District Patrol focuses on being a safety and crime prevention resource for the community. Kubiak has worked the area in a patrol capacity with HPD but enjoys how he’s been able to meet business owners and members of the community when he transitions to the District Patrol for his evening shift. “My role with Westchase District really gives me a chance to get to know people and they are generally supportive of law enforcement. This benefits our public engagement efforts. That’s important especially as we are in a challenging time when public trust has suffered.”
On his downtime, Kubiak enjoys going to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show and Astros games. For Kubiak, the rodeo is a larger taste of his favorite pastime watching amateur rodeos in upstate New York.
“The live music that comes with the rodeo in Houston is great.” Kubiak’s goal is to get his family and friends from New York to come to the rodeo and enjoy it with him. “So far, the schedules haven’t worked out, but it will happen.”