HPD officers salute fallen Sgt. Steve Perez

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HPD officers line up to salute fallen Sgt. Steve Perez. (KTRK)

Members of the Houston Police Department gathered to salute Sgt. Steve Perez.

Officers lined the street and a motorcycle unit escorted his body when it was transferred to a funeral home Monday afternoon.

Sgt. Perez drowned in his vehicle while trying to report to duty during Harvey's devastating flooding.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner confirmed Sgt. Perez died Sunday, August 27 on his way to work.

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Sgt. Steve Perez died in the floodwaters on the way to work Sunday

Sgt. Perez left his home in heavy rain at 4:30 a.m. to report to an investigation, even though his wife urged him to stay home because of the dangerous driving conditions.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said Sgt. Perez drove for about two and a half hours trying to find a safe way to his station. He called his command to report he could not get to his duty station.

Sgt. Perez followed protocol, which was to go to a second station in Kingwood.

On Monday, the chain of command realized Sgt. Perez had not shown up for work. They knew the dedicated officer would not have simply failed to show up.

Perez served on the force for 34 years and was currently assigned to the traffic enforcement division.

On Monday, August 28, the search area was narrowed to Hardy Toll Road and Beltway 8. The dive team was called out, and the Cajun Navy volunteer search and rescue force was called to assist in the effort to locate Sgt. Perez.

The floodwaters became treacherous and it was too dangerous to go out safely at the time. His body was finally recovered at 8 a.m. Tuesday, August 29.

Chief Acevedo became emotional at a press conference when he made the announcement. He said although the Houston Police Department has 6,500 employees, he knew Sgt. Perez.
As he became choked up, Chief Acevedo said, "Steve is one of the sweetest people I've ever met."

The fallen officer's family told him not to go, and he told them, "I have work to do."

The sergeant was just shy of his 61st birthday. He leaves behind a wife, and a son and daughter. Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

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hurricane harveyhurricanehouston floodflash floodingfloodinghouston police departmentHouston
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