County Police Officer Receives Congressional Badge of Bravery Award for Response to 2010 Discovery Building Incident

There is a saying popular among the public safety community, “When others run from trouble we run to it.”

On September 1, 2010, Montgomery County Police Officer Edward E. Paden Jr. did just that when he realized that an armed suicide bomber had taken hostages inside the Discovery Communications Building in downtown Silver Spring. His actions, without regard for his personal safety, contributed to saving innocent lives. This incident would later be recognized as one of the most dangerous situations encountered by the public safety community of the Washington Metropolitan region.

In early January, County Executive Ike Leggett and Councilmember Phil Andrews joined Police Chief Tom Manger and the three Assistant Police Chiefs at a special ceremony at the Public Safety Training Academy in Rockville. There, Officer Paden received the Congressional Badge of Bravery Award from U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Maryland U. S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein.

Officer Paden was off-duty and had just completed a water training session in the Chesapeake Bay for a triathlon. He had several jellyfish stings and had dropped by the 3rd District Police Station, to which he is assigned, when the call went out for “Shots fired, man with a gun at 1 Discovery Place in Silver Spring.”

Paden recalls, “The alert tone went off on the radio, and I just jumped in the car and said, ‘Let’s go’.” The officer was familiar with the layout of the building and didn’t hesitate to respond even though he was in shorts and a tee shirt. He was first on the scene, entered the building at great personal risk and took a position about 25 feet from the suspect. Although the position concealed him from the suspect, it didn’t protect him from gunfire, flying shrapnel or over-pressure from an explosion.

Officer Paden kept his rifle trained on the suspect as he dispatched vital tactical information. He also determined a safe route for other responding officers to enter the building and assume other strategic positions. Paden credited police training and the combined efforts of all the other responders for an outcome where no innocent lives were lost.

Chief Manger remarked, “He’s giving us all the intel…what the bomb looks like, where he is. He [Paden] was also in a position where Mr. Lee [the gunman] was not going to be able to get further into the building.”

County Executive Leggett said, “He went well above and beyond what would have been expected, and in so doing, put himself at tremendous personal risk. His actions, along with those of many others, can be credited for helping to save the lives of over 1,000 people in Montgomery County that day.”

Senator Cardin said, “I was amazed not just by his bravery but by his instincts.”

The Congressional Badge of Bravery award was created by Congress in 2008 to honor local, state and federal law enforcement officers who have distinguished themselves for exceptional acts of bravery in the line of duty. This year is the first year that the award has been presented.

Officer Paden previously received the Gold Medal for Valor at last spring’s Chamber of Commerce Public Safety Awards luncheon and the Police Department’s Medal of Valor. The veteran officer, who has more than 12 years with the Montgomery County Police, joins 20 other law enforcement officers from across the nation in receiving this special honor.

Photo. Participating in the award ceremony for Officer Paden (second from left), were County Executive Ike Leggett (far left) and (to Paden’s left) U. S. Senator Ben Cardin, U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein and County Councilmember Phil Andrews.

POSTED AT: Friday, January 20, 2012 | 2:00:00 AM |
News and Information from Montgomery County Government, Public Information Office.
To subscribe email newsletter,
visit eSubscription.