AS WE START A NEW YEAR, WE MUST remember the dreadful number of HPD losses of the infamous period known as “the pandemic year” of 2020 – which none of us want even in 20-20 hindsight.
Since the end of calendar year 2019, HPD has lost five of its finest, the worst year of line-of-duty deaths since 1982 and, prior to that, 1917 when five officers were slain in the Camp Logan Riot. According to HPD line-of-duty-death historian, retired Homicide Lt. Nelson Zoch, there is documentation that 119 officers made the ultimate sacrifice serving Houstonians.
Since Dec. 7, 2019 we have lost five men in Houston Blue. And they are:
- Chris Brewster, EOW Dec. 7, 2019
- Officer Jason Knox, EOW May 2, 2020
- Harold Preston, EOW Oct. 20, 2020
- Sean Rios, EOW Nov. 9, 2020
- Senior Police Officer Ernest Leal Jr., EOW Nov. 27, 2020
All told, these brave HPD officers 119 years of experience performing their duty on the streets of Houston. Each was known for his devotion to duty and service to the honest citizens of the Bayou City. As we put this year behind us, we will do so while never forgetting the service and dedication of Houston’s finest.
The memories for their dedication should be an inspiration for a new year in which we hope will be safer and healthier – we hope with vaccinations and NO MASKS!
The Badge & Gun wishes all personnel in the Houston Police Department and those in special service with the Houston Police Officers Union a safe and happy 2021!