UH police officer killed while driving to crime scene

A police officer with the University of Houston died in a car accident early this morning while responding to a call near campus. Officer Ann O'Donnell was 24 years old. She is the first UH officer to be killed while on duty. Carrie Feibel has more.
AnnO'DonnellO’Donnell was working her usual overnight shift when she got a call of a possible assault. It was at a Wendy’s restaurant near Robertson Stadium. Houston police say that on nearby street, O’Donnell lost control of her cruiser and hit a tree. Sgt. David Miller says that she was from Galveston and had been with the department for 15 months.

“She is a go getter. She was real excited about police work and she wanted to do the job and wanted to learn as much as she could. She wanted to be there for her fellow officers, and that’s why, in this case she was responding as backup to officers who were already out on the scene.”

University of Houston police have the same training, weapons and police powers as all Texas peace officers. Miller says that in addition to patrolling the campus, the 44 officers at the university often assist at crime scenes in nearby neighborhoods.

“If we can have a faster response, we go ahead and respond to it and we will hold the scene for HPD until they arrive.”

Miller says other police departments have been calling the university, offering condolences and volunteering as funeral or memorial escorts.

“And that’s the way it is in the police community, everybody — you’re not just HPD. You’re just not UH DPS. You’re a police officer and that’s the way all the other officers look at it. It’s a brother that went down.”
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Carrie Feibel

Health & Science Reporter

Carrie Feibel is KUHF's health and science reporter. She comes to Houston Public Radio after ten years as a print reporter...