Detective Perez was loyal officer, family man
Roland Perez, a detective with the San Antonio Police Department, was a humble family man who never knew how his wife, Rose, was going to greet him when he got home.
Perez would arrive and holler “Lucy, I’m home!” in his best Ricky Ricardo voice when he walked through the door, only to find Rose Perez surprising him from around a corner.
“I would like to scare him and just do little things like that,” his wife recalled. “Spontaneous things that I would get a kick out of doing to him. He always thought I would answer, but I wouldn’t.”
On Monday, the loving father of three lost his battle with leukemia, one he had been fighting since October 2014. He was 54.
“He was a very intelligent and smart-spoken person,” Rose Perez said. “He was always thinking about what he said before he would answer anybody. He was very patient, and he never complained.”
During his hardships with cancer, Perez didn’t let his treatments keep him from doing what he wanted.
Shortly after he was diagnosed, he wore a chemotherapy bag to son Roland’s football game at Antonian High School.
“Whatever it took just to show his son, ‘I’m here for you.’” his wife said.
Daughter Desiree Perez said the first question he asked his doctor was, “Can I still hit golf balls?”
“That’s what made him happy was golfing, going fishing and, honestly, family time,” she said. “Him and my mom loved watching movies on the weekend.”
Felipe Cerna, his partner at SAPD and a friend for more than 20 years, said Perez was a loyal officer who always volunteered for additional duties. Perez graduated from the police academy in 1996 and became a detective in 2011, Cerna said.
Perez collected evidence on all types of cases, from burglary break-ins to domestic violence.
“He was always there to lend a helping hand,” Cerna said. “He was always the one who was more calm then other people.”
Perez, Cerna and their friends met regularly for Wednesday breakfasts to talk about work and their families.
“He’s always held his wife on a pedestal and his kids up high,” Cerna said. “‘She’s my rock,’ he would say.”
Fishing buddies called him “OPP,” for Overpacked Perez, because he would bring days of supplies even for a one-day outing, Cerna said.
Rose Perez met him the first night she ever visited Doc Holliday’s, a dance club on the Southwest Side, in 1987. He he asked her to dance, and she said no, said another daughter, Cassondra Longoria.
But when Rose Perez saw everyone else dancing moments later, she looked for him, tapped his shoulder and asked him to dance. He said no — followed by a “Just kidding!” she recalled, laughing.
The two would talk and share a dance that night, followed by many more as they became close and married in 1990.
Perez, a native of San Antonio, graduated from Wheatley High School, now Brackenridge High School, in 1982. Afterward, he served for several years in the Air Force.
From there, his family said, Perez wanted to be a police detective like his uncle and grandfather before him.
Perez started with the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office in 1993 as a detention officer.
“He really enjoyed the hands-on side of it, just being able to be face to face with other people,” Desiree Perez said.
Longoria said many people sent her messages through social media, recalling sit-down moments they shared with Perez and how he helped them.
But to Longoria, he was the “give em’ what they want” type of father and grandfather. She said Perez would ask his grandson firmly: “What are my three rules?”
His grandson would reply: “1. No crying 2. No crying and 3. No crying.”
“We would just start laughing because that’s it. That’s all he asks,” Longoria said.
Rose Perez said: “He will be very much missed and loved, but I have him in my heart. And I will always have him.”