Hard work and devotion to memories of fallen heroes Went into future Eagle Scout Rhett Seagler’s behches

Tom Kennedy

The reaches of the HPD Blue Family extend comprehensively throughout Houston and the rest of the world.


So it was no big deal when Rhett Seagler and Richard Duffy became friends in private school. To hear the story, they bonded with each other before they both realized they shared in common the fact that they were both sons of Houston police officers.


Then good things began to happen.


“I found out Rhett was into Scouting,” Richard Duffy recalled. “And knew that Dad was looking for someone needing an Eagle Scout project.”


To complete this roster of players, please note that Rhett is the son of Sgt. Terry Seagler, an HPOU Board member, while Richard Duffy is the son of HPD Museum Director Steve Duffy.


The elder Duffy knew of the Department’s “bench surplus” that consisted of red oak slats from well-used benches from the academy’s pistol range. Duffy felt an up-and-coming Eagle Scout could craft new benches that could be used in the museum on the first floor of 1200 Travis.


What a match! Thank you, Richard, for engineering this project that helped an eagle (scout) soar.


Rhett Seagler, you see, had been coming to work with his dad for years, often at 1200 Travis. Both had noticed that the museum needed seating areas while Rhett needed an Eagle Scout project.


The thoughts and grunt work behind the engineering that went behind the conversion of the red oak slats combined with railroad rails took some months of hard work, culminating in a special presentation on the Friday before Christmas 2018 – in time to meet the deadline for submission of Rhett’s project to Boy Scout officials.


“It was a lot of hard work,” Rhett said with relief after delivering four benches to Officer Duffy at the museum. “I know the hard work that police officers do all the time. I knew I could complete this project if I worked as hard as they do.”


He needed to meet an end-of-the-year deadline. He worked non-stop over the Thanksgiving break and completed four new benches for Duffy and the Museum. “The last three weeks were pretty tough,” Rhett said.


Each of the four was put in place at the presentation ceremony that also included Commander Dwayne, the Seaglers, the Duffys and others involved in the Eagle Scout project.


Each bench weighs about 200 pounds. Rhett said the rails were used to emphasize the railroad history of Houston, whose city logo depicts a locomotive on a railroad track. The railroad connection was also important to the Seaglers since Terry’s grandfather, Rufus Power, was a conductor for Southern Pacific.


Rhett was especially appreciative of the HPD folks who helped him out with the welding and bolting that goes with rails, steel plates and  tubular steel.


Those “team work people” were  SPO Kevin Neimeier, SPOs Mitch Miller, Dave Wilhite and Justin Barber.


The Duffys and the Seaglers moved two benches in place opposite the Wall of Honor which memoralizes the HPD officers who have died in the line of duty. The elder Duffy said they will offer a resting spot for museum patrons to reflect on the lives and sacrifices of each of these individuals.


“This is the way I wanted it,” the future Eagle Scout, Rhett Seagler, said.