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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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  • Afrioh_watermark_max50

    WFinegan

    about 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    @ JimBatesJr excellent point!

  • 11_max50

    DarkKnight77587

    about 3 years ago

    94 Comments

    The following is from a Houston Talk Show Host. His website is: http://www.ktrh.com/pages/michaelberry.html

    You can hear the radio call Officer Sedmak listened to at this web site as well as Michael Berry interviewing Officer Sedmak.
    Its interesting to note that the Officer had just be trained as a trainer in Feb. - sent by Rice university - to an ACTIVE SHOOTER School.
    ********************************************************
    Call the following people at Rice and politely tell them this is unacceptable.

    Chief of Police William Taylor: 713-348-6333
    Main number for the police: 713-348-6000
    University President David Leebron: 713-348-5050
    Exec. Asst. to the President: 713-348-5049
    Main number for the university: 713-348-0000

    Read more: http://www.ktrh.com/pages/michaelberry.html#ixzz1Oh6fjkw8

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Domnick226

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    Dispatch@rice.edu
    Is the email address listed on the Rice University Web page
    My email is on the way

  • Afrioh_watermark_max50

    WFinegan

    about 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    I would vote for him to play in the All Star game! Some local department with a saavy police chief should pick up this unrestricted free agent! www.HonoringHeroes.com

  • V_curts_clothes_max50

    vgirl93

    about 3 years ago

    128 Comments

    This is a pathetic situation - the regulations they are going by need to seriously be re-evaluated. Every officer available will respond to their brother's/sister's 'down' report. No question about it. Whoever is in charge of this decision has never worked in law enforcement, that is obvious. I know what university to NOT send my kids to!

  • Mike___odin_max50

    ppc

    about 3 years ago

    188 Comments

    Sounds to me like he did a great job. Assisted officers in needaafter they were down ,and the POS did not get to the students and administrators of the college. RUPD Chief you screwed up.

  • Jof-00010_thumb_max50

    Deputy522

    about 3 years ago

    76 Comments

    WOW I believe this is another example of what happens when the "leaders" have never done any real police work. Great Job HPD and Great Job officer Sedmak.

  • Photo_user_banned_big

    RSA

    about 3 years ago

    148 Comments

    university officals need to learn the principles of " win-win " people become so involved
    in their authority, and ruin relationships of both the public & enforcement agencies...shame on the person that made this call.......................call me for a crash course on human(e) relationships. this was simply a political, or budegetary move. shame shame shame

  • Badge_max50

    JimBatesJr

    about 3 years ago

    44 Comments

    Dereliction my ass.....This Officer put it on the line to aid other Officers and to provide assistance BEFORE this nut made to Campus.

    What the hell is wrong with Rice University?????

  • Img_0327_max50

    oldmangardens

    about 3 years ago

    22 Comments

    Where's the Rice University officials contact information. I believe they need to hear everyones piece of mind on this BS!

  • Me__mr

    cgingo

    about 3 years ago

    21958 Comments

    WOW, bad move on the part of the University. How will HPD respond when they're called to help out if RUPD won't allow their officers to help out. I'm just saying.

  • Motor_cop_comic_max160_max50

    sgt457

    about 3 years ago

    1202 Comments

    WOW! Thanks for nouttin', Rice U! Training issue, yeah, maybe, counseling by the boss, oh sure, but fired? Geez!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    kimber4155

    about 3 years ago

    616 Comments

    Wrong, wrong and wrong.. Bad Rice University!!!! Good luck officer David Sedmark.

  • 20140214_120713-1_max50

    PRO1000

    about 3 years ago

    958 Comments

    Chief171 You Damn right Sir. Tell me about it later. Life is more important to me.

  • Gods_team_max160_max50

    BigHappy

    about 3 years ago

    76 Comments

    That is the liberal minds at work for you... its all about what they want forget about anyone else. Its no wonder why kids are so messed up these days when you have liberal colleges making decisions like this. Bad example do the right thing get fired! Tthis Officer should have been given a commendation for his actions to be terminated.

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