Preston was the lead negotiator during the Bell Riots. She spoke with Michael Webb and Gabriel Bell on behalf of the police department and government authorities when they took hostages in the Sanctuary Processing Center of Sanctuary District A.
Preston sought to win the release of hostages, but Webb and Bell refused to release any hostages until their demands were met. Preston was unable to convince Governor Robert Chen to meet their demands, despite public opinion being swayed by the personal stories of residents that were broadcast over the Net, and ultimately had to order that the Processing Center be stormed. Several residents, including Webb, Biddle Coleridge, and presumably Bell, were killed in the action. (DS9: "Past Tense, Part II")