Miami, FL – Miami Police Department (MPD) Officer Joel Perez died on Feb. 13 after suffering an unexpected medical emergency, according to his department.
The MPD confirmed the 47-year-old officer’s death in a press release the following morning.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of one our own, Officer Joel Perez,” the department said. “He has served his community for over 25 years and was a highly decorated officer who has patrolled in all districts throughout his career.”
His exact cause of death was not immediately released.
Officer Perez spent 15 years of his career serving on the MPD’s SWAT team.
He was also a member of the Wynwood Problem Solving Team.
The longtime officer was assigned as a Neighborhood Resource Officer in the Wynwood area at the time of his death.
“He was a devoted family man and just a great person all around. Please join us in sending our thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and loved ones left behind,” the MPD said.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez offered his condolences to Officer Perez’s loved ones in a video release on Feb. 13.
“I want to wish the Perez family my deepest condolences for the untimely passing of Officer Perez,” Suarez said. “This is something that has deeply affected our brothers and sisters in the Miami Police Department. Our hearts and prayers go out to their family and we want them to know that we are thinking about them and that we have lost a member of our family.”
Officer Perez leaves behind his spouse, two sons, and his mother, according to his department.
He is also survived by his brothers and sisters in blue.
Officer Perez was laid to rest on Feb. 17.
It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of one our own, Officer Joel Perez. He has served his community for over 25 years and was a highly decorated officer who has patrolled in all districts throughout his career. He was a 15 year member of the SWAT team… pic.twitter.com/NInLRMFvnl
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) February 14, 2023
— Jorge H Gomez (@Jorgehgomez2383) February 28, 2023
Humbled and grateful. Today was a record turn out for the @LiveLikeBella Superhero 5K. We dedicated the start of the race to @mpdpolice officer Joel Perez. Thank you everyone for your incredible support. Indeed, I know today our little Bella smiled from heaven! THANK YOU!… https://t.co/nd77bBWtaf pic.twitter.com/V11SfMvBng
— Raymond Rodriguez-Torres (@Iamraymondrt) February 18, 2023
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Miami Police Department (MPD) Officer Joel Perez, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.