|Fired Rice University Police Officer David Sedmak|
David Sedmak was let go after leaving his post to help a Houston police officer who had been shot.
On Monday morning, the officers union held a news conference and played an audio tape that proves the Houston Police Department officer was in serious need of help.
School officials claim Sedmak was not let go because he helped a fellow officer but rather because he left his post and did not tell his supervisor where he was.
FOX 26 News received the following statement from a Rice University spokesman:
As a matter of policy, Rice University does not comment on personnel matters. 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.
On a case-by-case basis:
The Rice University Police Department (RUPD) frequently assists police and other emergency response agencies in neighborhoods near the campus. They include police departments from Houston, West University Place, Southampton, Bellaire and the Texas Medical Center, and the Houston Fire Department. RUPD also conducts cross-training with some of these adjacent agencies.
In the first five months of 2011, RUPD responded 37 times to calls for help from these external agencies. In addition, RUPD officers who are patrolling the perimeter area around campus may happen on a crime in progress or another officer who needs assistance. In those cases, Rice officers will take action and then turn the scene over to the agency with jurisdiction. In all instances, Rice officers are required to promptly notify the RUPD dispatcher of their location and the situation, and they have portable radios and mobile radios in their police vehicles for that purpose. All radio transmissions are recorded, logged and monitored by the Rice police sergeant on duty. This enables the sergeant to monitor the situation to ensure that the officer is safe when responding to calls off campus, and also to ensure that enough officers are on duty on campus to protect the safety of our students and employees.