MADISON COUNTY, TEXAS — A dedicated officer with the Houston Police Department was laid to rest Saturday.
Sgt. Harold Preston was the officer killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call in Houston last week. Sgt. Preston served 41 years as an officer with the Houston Police Department and was only a few weeks away from his retirement.
Over a hundred HPD vehicles and motorcycles joined his processional Saturday, which made a stop in Madisonville.
The Houston Police Department escorted Sgt. Preston to his final resting place. The trip was nearly 200 miles.
"We just wanted to honor him. We support our police officers and it was just touching to see him come through here," Kathy Edwards, a Grimes County resident said, as she watched the processional while they strolled through Madison County.
Visitors from near and far came together in Madisonville to show their support for the devoted police officer and family man.
"I am a Houstonian. I used to live there several years and when they told me that he was coming through, I wanted to make sure I came through and paid my respect to him," Bishop Harry L Davis, a Madison County resident said.
Christy Fincher is from Palastine and said she drove over an hour and a half to simply pay respects to the dedicated officer and to the family left behind.
"We just wanted to pay our respects... police officers don't get enough respect these days... we just really felt compelled to pay our respects for him," Fincher added.
Houston Police Chief art Acevedo tweeted Saturday morning and said: "Our Department is better thanks to the 41 years of honorable service by this wonderful police officer, son, father, and guardian of the peace. May he Rest In Peace."
The shooting that took Sgt. Preston's life was last Tuesday at a Houston Apartment complex. Sgt. Preston and another Houston officer were both shot by the suspect, but only Sgt. Preston's injury turned fatal.
"We need to let people know that we support you. We are behind you. We are Texans. We stand for everything that is right and everything wrong we are going to put it out of sight. Even though it was tragic for him to be killed, we are standing behind his family and we are standing behind the Houston Police Department and we want them to know we support them," Bishop Harry L Davis added.
Davis, a fellow Houstonian, is grateful, thankful and honored that Sgt. Preston was allowed a stop in Madison County Saturday.
"We appreciate what they have done to bring Sgt. Harold Preston through to our town," Bishop Harry L Davis said.
Sgt. Preston was sworn in as a police officer in August of 1979 and at length became an officer who made the ultimate sacrifice. Sgt. Preston was laid to rest in a private service at North Athens Cemetery in the town where he grew up.