SNEADS, Fla. (WMBB) — The town of Sneads came together to recognize and celebrate a hometown hero Saturday.

The Sneads Police Department held a benefit for Sgt. Brett Preston, who was shot in the line of duty last month.

Hundreds turned out to thank Preston for his service.

“This makes me want to come back more because these are the people I serve and protect and this is the real reason,” Preston said. “If you look around, this is the real reason why I do it. This is why I do it and I wouldn’t change anything about it. I serve this community and I’m willing to risk my life for this community.”

Preston was shot several times while responding to a call on July 23.

He spent about a week in a Tallahassee hospital, with injuries to his thigh, knee, and foot.

Sneads Police Chief, Michael Miller, said this is the least the department could do to thank Preston for his service to the community.

“Sergeant Preston is one of the kindest and best men I’ve ever met before in my life,” Miller said. “He gives his life to serve this community. He’d give the shirt off his back to anybody he’d think was in need. We just wanted to show him the love and respect that he has from his community and his colleagues that work in this field with him and we just thought it was very important to put on an event like this.”

Community leaders said they are proud to be protected by a man like Preston.

“There is nobody on the Earth that is a better police officer than Brett Preston, Sergeant Brett Preston,” Sneads Town Manager, Lee Garner, said. “We were so sorry to hear of the incident he had but look at him today. He’s smiling and happy and joyful. He’s Brett. Brett is back.”

Preston said he has another knee surgery scheduled in six weeks but is anxious to get back to protecting the community.