MIAMI – A funeral mass was held Monday morning for FDLE Special Agent Jose Perez, who died in the line of duty.
As Perez's family arrived with his remains, he was welcomed with a final salute from his family in blue inside the St. Kevin Catholic Church.
There were emotional moments as his daughter Kaitlyn spoke about her father and said she wrote a letter to him.
"Dear Dad," she said, "When I grew up you were my best friend. "Once I started getting older, we started going to soccer games. You are the bravest and most dedicated person I will ever meet in my life and your actions and your life are a testament to that. You have three strong daughters and I know I will continue to put my head down and work for the rest of my life to become an example for you."
Kaitlyn Perez was told that her father would be honored with a purple cross medal.
Dozens of law enforcement officers from different agencies across South Florida showed their support Perez.
Biscayne Park Police Chief Luis Cabrera said "Jose was valiant. He did not live in fear. He lived life fearlessly. Jose served and protected those who could not protect themselves."
FDLE Special Agent-in-Charge Troy Walker said of Perez's one-year service with FDLE, "In that short time, he was woven in to our hearts and minds as part of the FDLE family and we are blessed to be passage written in the pages of his legacy. We will continue to honor him."
Perez will be remembered for dedicating his life to helping his community.
He spent more than 21 years in United States armed forces, in both active and reserve components.
During his more than three decades in law enforcement, Perez worked for the Miami Police Department and retired in 2018 as an assistant chief of police.
He began his FDLE career in August 2021 and was assigned to the organized crime and public integrity squad.
Perez died on August 20 after fighting for his life for more than two weeks in the hospital.
He was involved in a crash on August 2 while he responding to an alarm call.
The other driver involved in the crash was charged for driving under the influence.
Monday, his loved ones and the law-enforcement community came together one more time to say goodbye.
He was 55 years old.
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