Veteran Fla. officer dies weeks after 'catastrophic' crash

Special Agent Jose Perez was hit by another driver while he was responding to a building alarm on August 3

Duty Death: Jose Perez - [Miami, Florida]

End of Service: 08/20/2022


By Devoun Cetoute
Miami Herald

MIAMI, Fla. — Special Agent Jose Perez, a decorated veteran law enforcement officer, died Saturday after being hospitalized due to a “catastrophic” crash in early August.

In the early hours of August 3, Perez, an agent with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement since August 2021, was hit by another driver while he was responding to a building alarm.

Since the crash, the 55-year-old was being treated at Kendall Regional Hospital in critical condition until his death. Blood drives were held at Miami Police Department and FDLE’s Miami Operations Center in hopes of his recovery.

“Jose, you were admired by everyone as a mentor and a friend,” FDLE Miami Special Agent in Charge Troy Walker said. “We will forever miss your courageous heart, your infectious smile and your incredible generosity. Your watch has ended, but your inspiration and positive influence on our Miami-Dade community and FDLE always remains. We love you Jose.”

Perez is the second officer this week to succumb to injuries sustained while on duty. Miami-Dade Police Officer Cesar Echaverry died Wednesday after being on life support for two days after a shootout with a suspected robber.

Perez dedicated much of his life to public service, serving in both the military and law enforcement. Over the course of 21 years, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army, on active duty and in reserve.

During those years of service he was awarded numerous awards and medals including the Army Commendation Medal, a Navy Achievement Medal, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, a Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal, an Armed Forces Reserve Medal, a National Defense Service Medal, a Humanitarian Service Medal and letters of commendation and appreciation, FDLE said.

For more than three decades, Perez served in law enforcement. He rose through the ranks of the Miami Police Department and after 26 years of service retired in 2018 as a major.

Perez was no stranger to praise, awards and appreciation at Miami Police. He received more than 100 letters of commendation, the Legion of Merit, Golf Life Saving Medal and other accolades.

He continued his works of service into retirement by donning several hats in agencies across South Florida: an acting police chief with the Village of El Portal Police Department, an investigator for Florida Department of Corrections’ Inspector General’s Office, a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer and a Florida Department of Health medical malpractice investigator.

“Our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of Agent Perez, who spent his entire life serving others from the United States armed forces to more than 30 years in law enforcement,” FDLE Acting Commissioner Mark Glass said. ”Our country, our state, our community and FDLE are better because of his dedication. Rest in peace our brave hero. You will never be forgotten.”

©2022 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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