Houston police officer dies in flood, chief says

"It was too treacherous to go under (into the floodwaters) and look for him", Acevedo said, his voice cracking with emotion.

"And his response was, 'We've got work to do, '" the chief said, choking back tears.

Perez drowned after driving into a flooded underpass, Acevedo said.

In a statement released on Twitter, the police force said: "Sergeant Perez was bravely serving the City of Houston in the face of this unprecedented weather-related disaster".

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Perez, who worked in the traffic enforcement division, left home around 4 a.m. Sunday to drive to his duty station downtown but "could not find a path" because flooding caused by tropical storm Harvey had made many roads impassable, Acevedo said at a news conference.

On Monday the 28th, "his chain of command was holding their regular roll call when they noticed that Sgt. Perez was not present". After about 20 minutes, they found Perez trapped in his auto, Acevedo said.

Turner tweeted that Perez had driven two-and-a-half hours looking for a safe way to get to work to help flood victims early Sunday morning and said the 30-year veteran of the department should be remembered as a hero. As much as we wanted to recover him last night, we couldn't put other officers at risk in what we knew was going to be a recovery mission. The family has yet to be notified.

Perez, described by the chief as a sweet, thoughtful and hard-working community servant, had been with the Houston Police Department for 34 years.

  • Sonia Alvarado