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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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  • State_trooper_max600_max50

    troopa

    about 3 years ago

    490 Comments

    SHOOT, I BET THE AGENCY THAT HE ASSISTED WOULD LOVE TO TO HAVE ON THIER SIDE, I BACK UP THE THE CITY AND THE COUNTY ALL THE TIME, I EXPECT THE SAME FROM THEM. YA'LL WE ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!!! WHO CARES WHAT COLOR THE UNIFORM IS!!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Damifino

    about 3 years ago

    14 Comments

    Not overly surprising.Probably none of the suits who decided to terminate this officer have ever been shot at or even have an idea what it's like to be in a like situation.Brings to mind the incident in San Fran recently where fire and EMS personell refused to help a suicide/drowning victim and the person died.Their reason was that they had not been trained to assist drowning victims.WTF ! You're trained to be a human being right ? Same difference here. If it ain't in the big book of RuRu don't do it cause your butt's gonna fry.Man,I'm glad I'm retired.I loved the job for a long time but these bean counters have taken over and this is what you get.

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    LUVMYJOB

    about 3 years ago

    16 Comments

    RUPD'S loss is another departments gain. Too bad in this economy that anyone has to be without a job for any length of time, but I see a better future as a result of this for Officer Sedmak. Maybe Houston PD?? What an fearless asset he would be to any department. Good Luck, Dave.

  • Ford_motor_company__security___fire_max50

    motorman6235

    about 3 years ago

    5982 Comments

    i see a good cop houston needs to pick up a.s.a.p. and RUPD is so roung it ant even funny

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    g4ce062

    about 3 years ago

    10 Comments

    Although I do understand the policy of the university, I think the officer should have been reprimanded but not fired. I've worked at a university where we assisted surrounding jurisdictions so I understand the need for the policy but as I stated before, this officer should have been reprimanded.

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    shrek292

    about 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    Shame on the RUPD chief. He should be proud of this officer, and it's obvious this chief has forgotten what being a Texas Peace Officer is all about. He should have reward this officer instead of hanging him out to dry. If I were the chief of HPD or any adjacent agency, I would probably be offering this officer a job. I hope he mashes Rice University in court.

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    Anonymous

    about 3 years ago

    ALL THOSE IN FAVOUR OF HPD hiring this FINE OFFICER !!!!! Job well done mate !!!!!

  • Female_bodysurfer_max50

    MarlyB

    about 3 years ago

    5044 Comments

    Ugh. Looks like the President of Rice University is a hide-bound, mean-spirited ingrate.

  • Thumbs_pscoa_20star_max50

    VROB

    about 3 years ago

    210 Comments

    good job officer sedmak

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    mwo1u117

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    are you freakin kidding me?!! I guess the admin at Rice needs a refresher course on what it means to be a cop. Great job Dave, we're behind you. Kepp your head up

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    SkoolCop49

    about 3 years ago

    1560 Comments

    Unfortunate that campus and school police officers working in such liberal enviroments have to face such scrutiny. Unfortunately I have seen these type of actions by educational adminstrations before who forget when they employ a police force that sometimes their officers may be faced with responding to police related calls that may not neccessarily be on campus. They said there were 2 other officers on campus so I don't see how derelection of duty comes into place. It is my hope that another department will extend an employment offer to this fine police officer.

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    lbso07

    about 3 years ago

    70 Comments

    He could back me anytime. GOOD JOB and shame on his department for their actions.

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    dabadsanta

    about 3 years ago

    4 Comments

    AN OFFICER WHO RUNS INTO THE DANGER ZONE TO AID FELLOW OFFICERS OR CITIZENS...THATS CALLED THE RIGHT STUFF...THAT UNIVERSITY SHOULD BE PROUD TO HAVE DAVE SEDMAK WORKING FOR THEM NOT FIRE HIM ....WHAT A BUNCH OF LIBERAL BULLSHIT...DAVE GO TO WORK FOR SOME ONE WHO APPRECIATES YOU....GOD BLESS...

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    motor141

    about 3 years ago

    54 Comments

    Have you guys not learned that common sense goes out the window, when admin make their decision. Why should this guy leave his post to help a fellow officer from another agency who has been shot. What the big problem is the supervisor on duty got his feelings hurt because he didn't give the officer permission. I have worked with those guys. They were promoted by the way of the good ole boys. You administrators are a bunch of pencil pushing officer friendly stab me in the back POS. I know as a parent, that if my kid went there, I would be writing letters for a job well done to the officer and another one for the resignation of all involved for the dumbass move made by admin. Job well done Brother.

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    JohnsonDa

    about 3 years ago

    346 Comments

    TMPA or CLEAT are gonna rain down on Rice.. Im sure Sedmark doesn't want his job back.. But a suit is still in store..

    Surely Houston will hire him

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