HOUSTON (AP) — A veteran Houston police officer who drowned in Harvey’s floodwaters was remembered Wednesday for his faith and his dedication to family and public service.
Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner were among the hundreds of mourners who attended the service for Sgt. Steve Perez at Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Houston.
Perez, 60, was driving a patrol car before dawn on Aug. 27 when the vehicle went into a flooded highway underpass. He served 34 years as a Houston police officer.
“Sgt. Perez represented and epitomized first responders,” Turner said.
Many uniformed law enforcement personnel crowded into the church, including Houston police Chief Art Acevedo. Acevedo described Perez as “a man that had faith in his community and his family and his mission.”
The police chief praised Perez for his work ethic and said he displayed it until the end.
“We saw people coming together, putting aside any differences with one single focus,” Acevedo said, referring to the way emergency responders joined forces after Harvey made landfall Aug. 25 in Texas. “And that was Steve’s focus, to make a difference.”
Perez leaves behind a wife and two children. His burial was planned at the Houston National Cemetery.