HOUSTON - Houston is honoring a fallen hero. The visitation for Houston Police Sgt. Harold Preston is being held at Texas Southern University.
Sgt. Preston was killed in the line of duty last Tuesday. On Wednesday, his friends, family, and many members of the public are stopping by the special service at TSU to pay their respects.
As colleagues come to honor Houston Police Sgt. Preston, a slideshow of his 41-year career plays on a big screen including images of a young Sgt. Preston.
"This man was part of the department when they used to use the N-word on the (dispatch) radio," says HPD Chief Art Acevedo.
Sgt. Preston graduated from Texas Southern University in 1978 and joined the force a year later.
"He was just the kindest guy you'll ever meet, a gentle guy," says HPD Sgt. Michael Ortiz.
"We've lost a good officer. He was just as everyone says. He was a good guy," says HPD Officer Ronald Prince.
Sgt. Preston was killed on Holly Hall Road while responding to a disturbance call.
He and Officer Prince were friends for 24 years.
"He was also my neighbor. So this is a challenge for me," explains Officer Prince while choking back tears.
Many of our Houston heroes are here saying goodbye with heavy hearts.
"Feeling sorrow, knowing he dedicated nearly his whole life to the police department and he didn't have a chance to enjoy retirement like he was planning," Sgt. Ortiz adds.
Sgt. Preston was raised in Historic Third Ward.
"Jack Yates produced George Floyd and Jack Yates produced part of who Harold Preston was and they both are interconnected this year in that George Floyd's death is about the need for improving policing," adds Chief Acevedo who says Sgt. Preston was committed to the community and a great demonstration of what an officer should be.
"It took courage to come on 41 years ago and it took courage to stick it out," says the chief.
Sgt. Preston leaves behind his daughter, parents, and fiancé. There will be a police motorcade down I-45 to Sgt. Preston's funeral, which is set for Thursday at 11 a.m. at Grace Church Houston.
Sgt. Preston will be laid to rest Saturday in East Texas.