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Cop Fired For Responding to Officer Down Call

Cop Fired For Responding to Officer Down Call

The Houston Chronicle via YellowBrix

June 08, 2011

HOUSTON, TX – Law enforcement leaders are stepping up criticism of Rice University’s firing of a police officer who responded to an armed standoff off-campus last month with a man who shot two HPD officers before turning the gun on himself.

Rice University terminated the officer, David Sedmak, for dereliction of duty for leaving his post to get to the call near the downtown Greyhound station. Sedmak responded to the scene when he heard the call on his police scanner.

“You don’t fire a guy for this unless he’s a chronic disciplinary problem,” said Kevin Lawrence, executive director of the Texas Municipal Police Association, at a news conference Monday. “You call him in, you counsel him and you put him back out there (to work). If he’s a good cop, he’s a good employee. You use this as a training opportunity.”

On May 7, the suspect, Jesse Brown, 20, was spotted with a pistol as he tried to buy a ticket at the Greyhound station at 2121 Main.

Brown shot Houston police officer Fernando Meza, who was working an off-duty job at the bus station and confronted Brown about the pistol. Meza was hit in the hand. Moments later, Brown also shot Houston police officer Timothy Moore in the leg outside a nearby McDonald’s. The two officers joined about 25 other police officials Monday in a show of support.

“In this case, Officer Sedmak’s reward was he was fired,” said Ray Hunt, vice president of the Houston Police Officers Union.

Hunt presented Sedmak with a $2,500 check Monday to help him as he tries to land another job.

Sedmak said he was astounded to learn he was being fired for helping fellow officers in distress.

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Former Rice University police officer David Sedmak has drawn support from Houston police.

“My only concern on that day was to render aid to these two officers,” he said. "… Quite frankly, I couldn’t believe that after being in law enforcement for nearly 17 years that I was being relieved of my duty for running an assist to an officer.

“There’s been a lot of talk about me being a hero, and I just want to say personally that the real heroes here are these two officers and the job that they performed on that day,” said Sedmak, a former Galveston police officer.

University spokesman B.J. Almond declined to comment about Sedmak’s firing, but he provided a statement from the university.

“As a matter of policy, Rice University does not comment on personnel matters,” the statement reads. “However, out of respect for the Houston Police Department, we want to clarify that David Sedmak was terminated from the Rice University Police Department for dereliction of duty. Sedmak left his post when only two other officers were on duty and failed to notify his supervisor of his whereabouts for nearly an hour, which could have endangered the safety of our students and campus.”

Almond said that Rice University police officers frequently assist other law enforcement agencies near the university on a case-by-case basis. In the first five months of 2011, the department responded to 37 calls for help from adjacent police agencies.

“In all instances, Rice officers are required to promptly notify the RUPD dispatcher of their location and the situation … (to) ensure that enough officers are on duty on campus to protect the safety of our students and employees,” according to the statement.


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 3 years ago

    That's just wrong....."Oh"... He forgot to call in 10-20 his location...."Ah".......I'm sorry I was concerned with the "Officer Down" call in which I could be a help to my fellow officer's.....Ok a slapp to the back of the head for not calling in....and the head slapp is a wake up call......Then promote him for his brave actions to help fellow officer's in a time of need......My hats off to Officer Sedmak....

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    OlympicJoy

    about 3 years ago

    374 Comments

    Bump rpotter.

  • 100_0388_max50

    cmclemore_2007

    about 3 years ago

    18 Comments

    This is a load of horse shit! The officer got fired for helping a fellow officer in a life-death situation, all because he didnt let the dispatch know where he was.I dont know about anyone else, but if I hear a fellow officer calling for help, I dont give a shit if I have to go three counties away and to hell with damn policy. If it means that I help save a fellow officer, then I would gladly give my job for a brother of the badge. We have to watch out for each other because not everyone is. Thats just how I feel about this whole situation.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Buster10

    about 3 years ago

    258 Comments

    SHAME

  • Me_and_gunny_max50

    TrojanSkyCop

    about 3 years ago

    532 Comments

    Maybe a written reprimand, but FIRING the guy for coming to the aid of fellow officers? What a disgrace.

  • Me_and_gunny_max50

    TrojanSkyCop

    about 3 years ago

    532 Comments

    Screw the Rice University administration, and this is coming from someone who was a fan of Rice University athletics as a kid.

  • 154222_max50

    rpotter

    about 3 years ago

    6 Comments

    It's down right absurd to fire an officer just because he responded to help another that was down in the line of duty. Maybe the Rice University Police Department should be closed down and let the Houston PD take over.

  • Kid_n_play_max50

    rblack22

    about 3 years ago

    20 Comments

    To Harris 7877, that's not always true about firing cops for cowardice, we had a coward working for us sliding through and risking other officers lives while he hid behind trees. Fortunately he just resigned cuz his spouse took a job in Maryland, thank you Baby Jesus.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    woody__

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    I just spoke with Major Marshall on the phone. She stated, "I am perfectly content with the decision the university made in terminating Ofc. Sedmak." ...I hope you can rest easy at night lady...I know Ofc. Sedmak will...

  • The_

    cowboyinblue

    about 3 years ago

    94 Comments

    This is absolutely ridiculous.....A cop getting FIRED FOR DOING HIS DAMN JOB....Absurd...the chief of Rice university or whoever fired him should be fired for dereliction of his duties for not wanting this fine officer to help another brother in need.

  • Fd_max50

    ArsonBuck

    about 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    I know this is wrong but........I wonder how fast Houston PD will respond to assist Rice UPD following this "incident". Policy issues are just that ISSUES, and issues are dealt with by remediation or further training. Rice UPD not offering any other reason leads me to believe that they KNOW they screwed up !!! For my 2 cents this officer was treated unfairly by Rice UPD. In the words of my Grandfather who was 33 years on the job......"No Matter What Happens....You Do NOT (CRAP) Where You Eat" !!!!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    BigDaddy218

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    Hey Sedmak, We re hiring up here. We'll take you any time brother. STAND TALL BE PROUD Big Daddy Wells

    John Wells
    Badge 218
    Lafayette, Indiana Police

  • 2011_range_day_2-19-10_max50

    USLawman1983

    about 3 years ago

    1572 Comments

    The campus PD should be ashamed of themselves. Whatta Mickey Mouse outfit. They don't deserve to have Officer Sedmak on their agency. I'd bet he'll get on with another (and better) agency right quick that needs a real cop..

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    shakeonit

    about 3 years ago

    12 Comments

    Officer Sedmak, way to do your job, and way to have other officers backs. Well done. This is some serious BS, but I have a feeling it will work out for the best. Rice sounds like a bad place to work and maybe Houston or someone else will come calling. Either way, I support you as a brother, but I would suggest not to make any more posts about what happened, so as to protect yourself. I hope you have tmpa or cleat, and if not, see their help anyway.
    I'm just looking out for you, you did a good thing, and I don't want to see anything else bad happen.

  • 1asteriskshield_ezr_max50

    ajsdaddyBPD

    about 3 years ago

    3078 Comments

    This story is crap. I am quite certain there are a number of agencies lining up waiting to hire this man. Agencies need folks like him that when the crap hits the fan, aren't afraid to run towrds it. Kudos Officer Sedmak!

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