On Monday, June 6, 2011, at 8:00 a.m., Houston Police Officers’ Union president, Gary L. Blankinship and representatives from the Texas Municipal Police Association will be joined by other area law enforcement organization representatives to make a public statement regarding the Rice University police chief’s decision to terminate a Rice University police officer for coming to the aide of Houston Police officers who were involved in a deadly shootout on May 7, 2011.
The two HPD officers who were shot in the incident will be at the press conference
The press conference will be held in the HPOU Breckenridge Porter Building at 1602 State Street at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 6, 2011
Previous report first on The Insite:
|Rice University Office David Sedmak - Photo courtesy LinkedIn|
That officer has been identified as David Sedmak.
It was back on May 7th when two Houston police officers found themselves in a shootout with a suspect at the downtown Greyhound bus station.
After one of the HPD cops was shot another officer got on the police radio and called for back up.
Sources tell the Insite Rice University police officer David Sedmak was on duty near the school and decided to respond and drove to the scene downtown.
We now know two Houston cops were shot but survived. The gunman, according to the police department, took his own life.
So what happened to officer Sedmak after the incident that lead every newscast in town? He was fired by the Rice University Police Department.
Members of the Houston Police Officers' Union are outraged at Rice's action. Ray Hunt is the vice president of the police officers' union. He says, "if Rice officers are in trouble we'll respond with back up and I'd expect their officers to do the same."
Hunt says what officer Sedmak did is an example of what Mayor Annise Parker called for when she ran for office back in 2009. It was during the campaign when Parker indicated she wanted law enforcement officers in the Houston area to work together because of a shortage of HPD officers.
Some say it appears Rice may not be interested in that citywide collaboration when it comes to officers backing up their brothers in blue.
The school issued this statement to the Insite:
"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."
UPDATE: Rice spokesman B.J. Almond sent the Insite an email insisting Officer Sedmak was fired for leaving his post and not assisting HPD cops.
Almond also says the record reflects there is cooperation between the Rice Police Department and HPD.