Police Department Honors Retired Sergeant Battling Cancer With Officer's Salute as He Enters Hospice
A former cop made the difficult decision to enter hospice care, but his brothers in blue refused to let him pass without a proper salute.
Denny Preston, a former sergeant, who worked at the Coon Rapids Police Department for 26 years, had been battling bladder cancer for two years before he decided to return home on hospice care.
Although Preston, 72, had been retired for 16 years, the department proved he was far from forgotten when they surprised him with a police escort home from the hospital, as well as a touching salute in his driveway.
"He expected to come home to only see his family there. His family was there, as well as his blue family," his daughter, Missy Rumble, told InsideEdition.com. "They wanted him to have a nice welcome home."
Officers then posed for a photo with Preston at his front door.
During the emotional display, Preston, who's one good eye teared up, told his brothers in blue, "Gotta get home safe every night. Nothing is more important."
Rumble said her father also joked to his former colleagues, "Why weren't you guys playing ["Bad Boys" by Inner Circle] for me?"
"He was still so funny," Rumble said.
She explained that while a typical officer's salute happens at a funeral, the Coon Rapids Police Department wanted to make sure Preston witnessed his own special moment.
"He was a cop's cop," Captain Jon Urquhart told InsideEdition.com. "He was very well-liked. Our police department was very sad [to see him go.]"
Preston passed away at home the following day, and officers honored him with another salute at his funeral. He also received a 21-gun salute for his naval service.