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Another officer almost lost

9:22 PM Tue, May 22, 2007 |
 
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Last week officer Wade Smalley was working his beat in Southeast Houston when an HPD dispatcher sent him “code one” to a bank robbery in progress.

80-percent of all bank robberies nationwide are committed by people who walk into the bank and hand the teller a demand letter. This bank heist didn’t involve a note. On his way to the Wells Fargo bank Officer Smalley noticed a green sedan running a stop sign in front of him. He looked at the driver and he was wearing a mask. The passenger had a mask on too. Smalley told me he knew these were the men involved. He began his pursuit. Smalley learned from the police radio that these two men were suspected of robbing 10-banks in the area and were heavily armed. They are known as “take over” robbers. They completely take over the bank using aggressive tactics with weapons. It is frightening for everyone involved. It became frightening quickly for Officer Smalley.
In pursuit of the suspects, Smalley put on his flashing lights, turned on his siren, and notified dispatch. As he followed them under Beltway 8 and onto the feeder road of the Gulf Freeway, he noticed the passenger climbing out of the window holding a gun. The passenger suddenly fired 3-shots at Officer Smalley. Smalley told me he thought he was going to die. They were so close to each other. Smalley quickly made a turn to the right up onto the median. The shots missed him. The passenger tried to shoot him 3-more times. It is a miracle he wasn’t hit. The bank robbers were caught a few minutes later, but it took a few days for Smalley to calm down. He couldn’t sleep. he couldn’t get what happened to him off of his mind. In his 24-years on the force he had never been fired upon like that…, at such close range. He knows that could have been his last day on Earth. He remembered his friend Rodney Johnson. It turns out the two bank robbers used to be in the military. They had experience with guns. Houston almost lost another one… Another hero that works our streets to keep us all safe.



8 Comments

Todd said:

This guy has GOT to be related to Smalley, who we should probably thank for curing Polio, inventing popcorn and moving pictures.

five O said:

Sounds like Todd needs to step in the line of fire a couple of times in his life!!! Maybe he wins and maybe I mean HE loses…

Todd said:

Guess what smarto, I retired from 10 years with the dept, as a K-9 handler, and member of the ERT Team. And your brave antics…
Just because you’re wearing a badge doesn’t make you the center of an adoring novel.

anonymous said:

Todd, you and the rest of the “men in blue” do deserve praise and thanks from regular people like us. Unless of course, your history makes you feel as you don’t deserve that kind of attention. My boyfriend is an HPD officer and I fear for his life every time he walks out the door. I thank you and every one of our officers that are still out there putting their lives on the line to protect and serve us.

Barry said:

Todd, are you really that screwed up as a human being? Are you really that cynical? If you are, if must really suck to be you. Sounds like somebody has probably given Todd a ride downtown a few times. What a jerk.

carlos said:

hey wade, i understand what you are going through, just remember you have your family and friends to come home to. I’m an officer too. Just kept in mind” crime fighter” we love what we do and what we do is hard but when we punch out, leave work at work and enjoy your time off with loves ones. That was a good bust, you got them off the street and now they will be serving time thanks to you.

Julie said:

Thanks, Jeff, for reflecting upon the day-to-day heroism of our peace officers. At a time in history during which it is less than politically correct to acknowledge the bravery of our officers in instances such as this and the risks they incur each time they answer a call, your commentary is refreshing. I wish more reporters would refrain from rushing to judgment against the officer and for the perpetrator before the facts are even known while reporting stories in which investigations are ongoing, and then continue, with questionable journalism techniques, to plant seeds of doubt regarding the officer’s choices of action even after the facts are in and the officer has been cleared. Knowing that the officer is almost always publicly proclaimed guilty until proven innocent, I wonder why anyone would ever want this job. Clearly, current public opinion slants more toward the civil rights of the perpetrator, no matter how hardened or dangerous a criminal he may be, rather than offering any support whatsoever for our officers, and media most often reflects this trend. Our officers could certainly use moral support such as that offered in your account and hopefully the public might even get a reality check from seeing a story from the vantage point of the officer.

Julie said:

Thanks, Jeff, for reflecting upon the day-to-day heroism of our peace officers. At a time in history during which it is less than politically correct to acknowledge the bravery of our officers in instances such as this and the risks they incur each time they answer a call, your commentary is refreshing. I wish more reporters would refrain from rushing to judgment against the officer and for the perpetrator before the facts are even known while reporting stories in which investigations are ongoing, and then continue, with questionable journalism techniques, to plant seeds of doubt regarding the officer’s choices of action even after the facts are in and the officer has been cleared. Knowing that the officer is almost always publicly proclaimed guilty until proven innocent, I wonder why anyone would ever want this job. Clearly, current public opinion slants more toward the civil rights of the perpetrator, no matter how hardened or dangerous a criminal he may be, rather than offering any support whatsoever for our officers, and media most often reflects this trend. Our officers could certainly use moral support such as that offered in your account and hopefully the public might even get a reality check from seeing a story from the vantage point of the officer.


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