Print

News >> Browse Articles >> Law Enforcement News

-185

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.

Ds_max200w

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.


-185
  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    about 3 years ago

    17 years of service here is you reward....wow I thought cops where suppose to serve and protect.

  • 12235_sq90_max50

    chiefkcr

    about 3 years ago

    3614 Comments

    This is TOTAL BS ! He shoud get his job back and the ones who fired him shoud themselves be fired !

  • Slide1_max50

    mjl208

    about 3 years ago

    12 Comments

    Wow!!! That is incredible that an officer was fired for assisting a fellow officer who was not only in distress but had been shot. Not one fellow officer but TWO!!! I for one have been shot at, been shot and had my bell rung on several occasions and when I was in those situations, I did not care who came to help as long as someone came! This is a very good example of how our nation has come to be all about ourselves and most do not care about anyone else. Take care of Rice and the hell with everyone else.... That is the message I am seeing here!!!!

  • 25-1-13-a_1__max50

    SkoolCop

    about 3 years ago

    4598 Comments

    BTW: Just curious what the "B.J." must stand for and how appropriate that his last name is "Almond." It would seem that everyone responsible for this travisty is NUTS!!!!!

  • 25-1-13-a_1__max50

    SkoolCop

    about 3 years ago

    4598 Comments

    "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.”

    OK....... I HAVE QUESTIONS FOR THIS SPOKESHOLE (B.J. ALMOND), FOR THE MAJOR (CHIEF, ERRRR WHATEVER) AND EVERYONE ELSE INVOLVED IN THE FIRING..... ERRRR, WRONGFUL TERMINATION OF OFFICER DAVID SEDMARK. APPARENTLY, THIS INCIDENT OCCURRED ON MAY 7TH, 2011. I JUST CHECKED THE CALENDAR AND UNLESS MINE IS DIFFERENT FROM EVERYONE ELSES, MAY 7TH WAS ON A SATURDAY. I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE MAY HAVE BEEN SOME CLASSES GOING ON ON A SATURDAY AND OF COURSE, THERE ARE STUDENT OCCUPIED DORMS AND OTHER DUTIES THAT THE OFFICERS OF THE RICE UNIVERSITY POLICE DEPARTMENT MAY BE RESPONSIBLE FOR, BUT FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THIS WAS A SATURDAY........... THE SCHOOL WAS NOT IN FULL OPERATION.

    I HAVE TWO MORE QUESTIONS FOR THE MAJOR: IF THE SITUATION WERE TURNED AROUND AND IT WAS ONE OF YOUR OFFICERS THAT WAS DOWN OR FOR THAT MATTER, MAYBE EVEN YOU THAT WAS DOWN, WOULD YOU WANT OFFICERS FROM ALLIED AGENCIES RESPONDING TO YOUR EMERGENCY AND CALL FOR OFFICER DOWN? WOULD YOU CONDONE THE FIRING OF ANY OF THE OFFICERS THAT RESPONDED TO YOUR AID AND SAVED YOUR LIFE?

  • 2971_max50

    JT1958

    about 3 years ago

    68 Comments

    Wow...I am so glad I'm not working for a place like that! I would have done the same as him to help my Brothers!!

  • Scan__3__max50

    RickGann

    about 3 years ago

    16 Comments

    If Rices president /Dean was getting shot at Im betting he would be Screaming for HELP Obviously The Dean and his staff are pure Jerks. God bless the Officers and Ticket the Hell out of Rice Managment

  • Scan__3__max50

    RickGann

    about 3 years ago

    16 Comments

    If Rices president /Dean was getting shot at Im betting he would be Screaming for HELP Obviously The Dean and his staff are pure Jerks. God bless the Officers and Ticket the Hell out of Rice Managment

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jpdsgtusmc

    about 3 years ago

    126 Comments

    What a pathetic college!!

  • 1410_max50

    CITYPATROL1099

    about 3 years ago

    332 Comments

    Rice sucks!

  • Thin_blue_line_max50

    ExplorerFL835

    about 3 years ago

    370 Comments

    If someone is shooting at my partners your darn right im leaving wherever im at to get to them a.s.a.p !!!

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max160_max50

    Mcdonnal

    about 3 years ago

    386 Comments

    They should be ashamed of themselves. A good example of intellects living in ivory towers, who have no idea what the real world is all about. This is what Cops do, they look out for each other. I hope a real Police Agency picks this Officer up. The story does not say if he is retired from Galveston, only that he was former Galveston P.O. Best wishes to you, Brother Sedmak.

  • Fallenherobadge-3-1_max50_max50

    aussie4

    about 3 years ago

    5328 Comments

    This almond dude, a real public figure for the college only. Fire him instead and re-instate this Leo. Now.

  • 309

    Hbryant188

    about 3 years ago

    594 Comments

    I read some of these comments and I can't help but ask, why even punish him at all? Sure he left his patol area, but he did so to assist another officer in distress. There shouldn't be a reprimand, suspension, lost pay/vacation. There shouldn't be punishment at all.

  • 309

    Hbryant188

    about 3 years ago

    594 Comments

    If I'm an officer in distress I wouldn't care if one of the cops who came to assist me were from a university you're still on the same side. Stupid university administrators. I'm pretty confident this officer will find a MUCH better place to work real soon.

PoliceLink School Finder

Save time in your search for a criminal justice degree program. Use PoliceLink's School Finder to locate schools online and in your area.

Get Info

* In the event that we cannot find a program from one of our partner schools that matches your specific area of interest, we may show schools with similar or unrelated programs.

Recent Activity

Hanscon_park_2_2013_max30
SE851 commented on: "Grant McClellan", 8 minutes ago.
Photo_user_blank_big
Bfranco received the quiz result of "You did not receive a passing score", 44 minutes ago.
Drknite_max30
drknite298 commented on: "Using the Tactical Combat Fighting Stance", about 1 hour ago.
Hanscon_park_2_2013_max30
SE851 commented on: "David Hamson", about 1 hour ago.