The value of a police department and a community working together is one of the lessons that shouldn’t be overlooked in the quick capture of Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the weekend bombings in New York and New Jersey.
Just hours after authorities issued an alert Monday for Rahami, officers of the Linden, New Jersey, police department had him in custody.
His capture came when the owner of a local bar reported that a suspicious person was sleeping in a hallway of his establishment. Officer Angel Padilla went to investigate and realized it was Rahami. Within moments, the suspect fired on Padilla, hitting him in his bullet-proof vest. A shoot-out with other officers followed with Rahami eventually being wounded and taken into custody.
His capture is a testament to what can happen when a department reaches out to a community and earn the trust of its residents.
On the Linden Police Department Website, recently appointed police chief Jonathan Parham talks about the need to improve the way police and the community share information and communicate. He urges residents to be aware of things happening in their neighborhoods and to share information regarding any crime. In return, he vows to provide “ever-improving law enforcement services to our business, residential, and faith based partners.”
The chief also promises a police department that will reflect the highest degree of ethical, moral, and fairly applied law enforcement. He reminds the public that law enforcement is an honorable calling and the members of the Linden Police Department are committed to providing services that are fair, effective and impartially applied.
“Officers fully accept their responsibilities to defend the right, to protect the weak, to aid the distressed, and to uphold the law in public and private living,” Parham writes.
On Monday, we saw how all of that can make a difference.
No one expected the manhunt for Ahmad Khan Rahami to end so soon.
“We have a phrase that we often joke about, ‘If you stay ready, you ain’t got to get ready,’” said Parham. “These officers were ready. Very, very proud of that.”