Houstonians have been hit hard over the last couple of days. Hurricane Harvey has brought extensive damage, flooding and far too much loss of life. While Houston wasn’t the only area affected, it is the most densely populated area, and since it is as flat as a pancake, the flooding had been devastating.
Citizens had the opportunity to take refuge wherever they felt safe. However, law enforcement, relief workers, and many volunteers choose to stay in the path of the storm and try and help their fellow Texans. The Police officers were, of course, part of that group, and they’ve been bravely helping those in need, just like every other day.
For Houston Police Officer, Sergeant Steve Perez, this wasn’t just another day though. His best efforts to help the people affected by the storm caused him to pay the ultimate price. Officer Perez, a 34 year veteran of the force, was determined to protect and serve until the last, and unfortunately the last came far too soon. He was reported missing and then found by divers just hours ago.
Story from Blue Lives Matter:
“Houston, TX – A 30-year veteran Houston Police Officer drowned in his patrol car on Sunday morning, and his body is being recovered on Tuesday.
The officer’s family has not yet been notified and his identity isn’t immediately available.
According to Houston Chronicle, the officer was driving to work on Sunday when he got trapped by high water at I-45 and Hardy Toll Rd.
He tried different routes to get around and took a wrong turn. The officer became trapped in his vehicle by the floodwater but was unable to get out.
There have been 15 known deaths as of the result of flooding from Hurricane Harvey. Houston police officers have been rescuing thousands of people in the city of 2.2 million, and many thousands more are still in need of help.
Houston police officers continue to sleep in stations and are working constantly to rescue people. At least 160 Houston Police Officers’ families and property have been significantly affected by the flooding, but those officers continue to work around the clock.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the fallen officer and his family and all of the police officers working in the flood zones. Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.
As of Tuesday morning, there is no current legitimate account to donate to the officer’s family.
UPDATE: The fallen hero has been identified as Sergeant Steve Perez.
Houston, TX – Houston Police Sergeant Steve Perez drowned while trying to respond to work in his patrol car Sunday Morning.
At around 4:30 AM, Sergeant Perez, 60, left his home to try to drive in to his station. His wife urged him to reconsider going in to work, but the 34-year veteran told her, “I’ve got work to do.”
The sergeant spent two and a half hours driving around trying to find a route around the flooding. He called his command to let them know that he couldn’t make it to his duty station. He then attempted to respond to a different station in Kingwood in order to help there.
The dive team and the Cajun Navy launched a search for Sergeant Perez. His body was located in his patrol car Sunday night. It appears that in the darkness he drove into the water at a 16-foot [sic] underpass where he drowned in his car.
At the time he was located, conditions were too hazardous to recover him. Officers remained on watch until the morning. His body was finally recovered at 8 AM Tuesday.
Sergeant Perez leaves behind his wife, son, and daughter.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Sergeant Steve Perez. Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.
Sergeant Steve Perez, your life mattered.”
Officer Perez and thousands like him selflessly put on their uniform every day to make sure that people like you and I are safe. And to think that anyone would begrudge them anything, whether that be food, water or a warm bed is absolutely inexcusable.
The Houston Police force is one of the finest in the country, and they’re no strangers to difficult situations. This isn’t their first storm and it probably won’t be their last, but you don’t see the officers who watch their brothers give everything resigning because it’s too hard. They are the embodiment of the American spirit, and we owe them more than we can ever repay.
Our prayers are with Officer Perez’s family and friends as the mourn his loss Houston tanks you, Texas thanks you and America thanks you. You and your brothers in blue are the hero’s that we should all look up to.
Greater love hath no man than this, that he lays down his life for his friends.
(Source: Blue Lives Matter)
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