Police Gather for Funeral of Houston Officer Who Died in Harvey Flood (Video)

HOUSTON – A Houston police officer who died in the floods of Hurricane Harvey will be laid to rest Wednesday, and officials have released details of the plans for the ceremony.

The funeral for Sgt. Steve Perez, 60, will be held at 9:30 a.m. at the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart at 1111 St. Joseph Parkway.

After the funeral, honors will be rendered in front of the church, followed by a police escort to the Houston National Cemetery, where Perez will be buried during a private service.

People who wish to observe the procession, which is scheduled between 11:30 a.m. and noon, can do so along the following route:

  • From Downtown to the North Freeway
  • From North Freeway to North Sam Houston Parkway East
  • From North Same Houston Parkway East feeder road to Veteran’s Memorial

The following roads will be closed starting at 7:30 a.m. to accommodate the funeral:

  • St. Joseph’s Parkway between Caroline and Main
  • Fannin between Pierce and Jefferson
  • San Jacinto between Pierce and Jefferson

Lane closures will also happen within a few blocks of the church.

Perez drowned Aug. 27 when he drove into 16 feet of floodwaters near the Hardy Tollway and Beltway 8 while trying to report for duty. His body was found two days later.

Perez was a 34-year law enforcement veteran. He is survived by a wife, son and daughter.

Rosary recited Tuesday

On Tuesday afternoon family, friends and Sgt. Perez’s brothers and sisters in blue gathered at Saint Mary Magdalene Catholic Church in Humble for a rosary reciting.

Houston police officers on motorcycles lead the procession to the church. Draped with an American flag, officers led Perez’s casket inside the church where they prayed for him and his family.

I want people to remember that he’s a man that dedicated his adult life, whether in the Army or the police department, to public service and he’s a man that has sacrificed,” said Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo.

He walked with Perez’s son, daughter and wife Tuesday evening after the Rosary ceremony.

I was thanking them for their faith, thanking them for their strength and thanking them for allowing us to help them get through this,” said Acevedo in regards to the conversation he had with the Perez family.

Even though the chief has only been in his role for nine months, he said he did get to know Perez.

To know that he spent that much time, over 2 1/2 hours desperately trying to get to duty station so he could help, it just pains me that somebody so good was taken from us,” said Acevedo.

The chief said they had used different strategies, techniques and technology to get to Perez, but they knew it was a recovery mission at that point, and would have been too dangerous to retrieve his body.

And I’ll never forget that Monday night it was raining, they led us to the right intersection to the right underpass and the toughest part of all of that, the emotion for me was I had to make the decision to leave him there that night, in that muddy water, that was tough,” said Acevedo. “For a recovery, we just couldn’t risk it and it was the right decision, and it was something that if Steve would have been able to weigh in on, he would have told us, ‘No don’t risk another life just to recover my body. There’s time for that tomorrow.”

Acevedo was very emotional when speaking to reporters about the department’s discovery. It’s a moment Acevedo said is tough, but knows the department will get through it.

Steve is the 114th officer in HPD history to lose their life and you know, this will pass, we’ll be stronger but we’ll never forget this sacrifice,” said Acevedo.

In lieu of flowers, the Perez family is requesting Memorial Contributions be sent to the 100 Club, Houston’s Policemen’s Burial Fund – Assist the Officer FBO Perez 1600 State St.

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Video Source: CW39

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