Mr. Speaker, as Hurricane Harvey rampaged across Texas, the heavens opened up and 50 inches of rain hammered down on the Houston area.
After 2 days of hard rain, on August 27, 60-year-old Houston Police Officer Sergeant Steve Perez got up, as he does every morning, put on the badge, the shield over his heart, and began to drive to work to help rescue flood victims. It was dangerous. The floodwaters were high and constantly rising. People’s homes and businesses were flooding. Perez’s wife even asked him not to go that day. But, Mr. Speaker, Sergeant Perez knew the people of Houston were counting on him.
He made a wrong turn when he was headed to work, fighting the flooded streets. Because of that, the 34-year veteran of the force, Sergeant Perez, died in the floodwaters. He gave his life for the thin blue line, the line that protects and serves the rest of us.
Officers like Sergeant Perez are just a cut above the rest of us. They willingly put themselves into harm’s way for their communities, and their motto is to protect and to serve.
Houston will remember Texas lawman Sergeant Perez as one of their own, putting his life on the line during one of the worst natural disasters in Texas history.
Next week, as hundreds of officers from all over the State of Texas and other States stand in silence, taps will be played for the end of watch for Sergeant Perez. Sergeant Perez is one of the rare breed—the Texas breed of law officers that sacrifice for the rest of us.
While we mourn the loss of Sergeant Perez, we thank the good Lord that such men ever lived.
And that is just the way it is.