Officer Padilla was shot during the struggle to capture a terrorist responsible for the Chelsea Bombings in September 2016

WOODBRIDGE, NJ – New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJSPBA) President Patrick Colligan expressed appreciation for Rep. Josh Gottheimer’s recognition of Linden Police Office Angel Padilla and his support for law enforcement officers that risk their own lives to protect our communities.

Rep. Gottheimer’s first guest as a new representative to the Joint Session of Congress is Officer Angel Padilla, a representative of the New Jersey law enforcement community.

“Congressman Gottheimer has shown an appreciation for the men and women serving as law enforcement officers since the beginning of his campaign for congress.  He had the support of 33,000+ membership during his congressional campaign, and I am encouraged to see him follow-up by publicly demonstrating his support and appreciation for all of us serving in law enforcement,” said NJSPBA President Patrick Colligan.

Following the Chelsea Bombings in September, Officer Padilla was the first law enforcement officer to discover terrorist Ahmad Khan Rahami in Linden, NJ.  During the ensuing firefight, Rahami shot Officer Padilla in the abdomen.

Congressman Gottheimer said, “Officer Padilla reminds us that our law enforcement officers not only protect our communities from criminals and local dangers, but they are on the front lines in our fight against terrorism. Our war on terror is a war fought on multiple fronts, and in Congress, I am committed to supporting our first responders and doing whatever I can to stomp out terror and those who would do harm to the United States. It’s difficult to detect and stop homegrown and lone wolf terrorists who were radicalized in their own apartment here in New Jersey; that’s why the sort of community policing practiced by Officer Padilla and others is critical.”

Officer Padilla said, “I thank Congressman Gottheimer for his support for law enforcement and for his invitation to the Joint Session of Congress. It will be an honor to attend and represent the New Jersey law enforcement community.”

New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association (NJSPBA) President Patrick Colligan and Executive V.P. Marc Kovar doubled down on the membership’s endorsement of Josh Gottheimer for Congress.

Josh Gottheimer is running against Congressman Scott Garrett, the only congressional member from NJ to vote against the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act — legislation that ensures critical benefits for 9/11 first responders and survivors do not lapse.

“When push came to shove, Scott Garrett deserted thousands of heroes who struggle each day with illnesses and injuries following their courageous efforts on September 11. Portraying himself as a champion of first responders when he voted against making the Zadroga bill permanent – and twice against the original bill – is an affront to every man and woman and their families who served and sacrificed in the wake of a national tragedy.”

Patrick Colligan, NJSPBA