Corporal Gustavo Escalante
Officer of the Year 2020
Leesburg Police Department
The Leesburg Police Department strives to be considered among the best and most professional law enforcement agencies in the region. The most important component in achieving such a status is that the people who work for the agency exemplify professionalism and our core belief that we Protect and Serve with Integrity, Courage, Compassion, and Intelligence. Each year, the entire membership of the Leesburg Police Department selects those individuals who they felt best personified those traits. It is an honor to know that one’s peers, supervisors, and co-workers view them in such a light. The members of the Leesburg Police Department selected Corporal Gustavo Escalante as their 2020 Officer of the Year.
Corporal Gustavo Escalante has been a valued member of the Leesburg Police Department since 2010. Gus was born in Cuba and migrated to the United States with his family at the age of eight, settling in South Florida. As a young man he relocated to Central Florida and decided on fulfilling a lifelong dream of becoming a law enforcement officer. As a loving husband of fourteen years and cherished father of four beautiful children, he wanted to make the community in which he lived safer for everyone. Over the past decade he has proudly served in the patrol division, criminal investigations division and SWAT. In all aspects of his work he has consistently demonstrated the department core values of integrity, courage, compassion and intelligence.
In 2020, Corporal Escalante was chosen by his peers and department members as the Department’s Officer of the Year. His supervisors and peers alike continually recognize the traits and characteristics that make Cpl. Escalante a true servant leader. His work ethic and unquestionable integrity are the traits that stand out above all others. Gus consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty and can always be counted on by his co-workers.
Corporal Escalante routinely and generously volunteers his personal time toward numerous community-based department objectives, particularly projects involving our local youth. From “Shop with a Cop”, “Painting with the Blues”, the Leesburg Police Junior Athletic Games, “Bowl with Patrol”, and many other events, Corporal Escalante selflessly demonstrates his heartfelt compassion toward the community he serves.
In November of 2020, Corporal Escalante responded to a shooting call involving a pregnant woman who had been shot in the chest by her boyfriend. Upon officer’s arrival, the gunman was still at large and possibly in the immediate area. His immediate life-saving actions during that call, along with two other officers, resulted in the full recovery of the victim and her unborn child. He and the other officers undoubtedly saved her life and demonstrated exceptional levels of courage during that call.
Corporal Escalante is a lifelong learner. He is an instructor at two local law enforcement academies where he passes on his knowledge and wisdom, helping shape the new generation of police officers. Additionally, In November of 2020, Corporal Escalante successfully completed his Doctorate Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Walden University. His diligent course work over the years allowed him to complete this arduous task, all while maintaining his departmental responsibilities and family life. There are few greater examples of tenacity and intelligence than this accomplishment.
Corporal Gustavo Escalante is a consummate professional who not only impacts our community in a positive manner, but makes everyone around him better. He inspires young officers to work hard and do the right thing and community youth to strive for meaningful accomplishments. His dedication to the profession of law enforcement is second to none and can be observed on a daily basis.
It is for all of these reasons, and so many more, that the members of the Leesburg Police Department chose Corporal Escalante as their 2020 Officer of the Year.