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May 2000

Captain Edward A. Clarke

Montgomery County (MD) Police Department

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF) has announced the selection of Captain Edward A. Clarke of the Montgomery County (MD) Police Department as its Officer of the Month for May 2000. Captain Clarke is the Commander of the Montgomery County Public Service Training Academy in Rockville, Maryland.

Captain Clarke began his law enforcement career in 1976 after having received a Bachelor of Science degree from American University in Justice Administration. For the past twenty-four years, he has served the citizens of Montgomery County with pride in a variety of assignments. The wide scope of his experience includes the development and implementation of several community policing programs; he designed a citizen traffic safety initiative; and served as a drug, vice and intelligence investigator. His dedication to community service and his effective leadership skills have led to his being one of the most respected officers in his department.

On April 8, 1989, while assigned to the Wheaton-Glenmont District, then Sergeant Clarke was involved in an altercation that would earn him, and two colleagues, the coveted Police and Fire Rescue Service Meritorious Award for saving the life of a young boy. In mid-afternoon the three officers responded to a call at a local hospital where a man was holding his son hostage at knifepoint. Upon arriving at the scene, Sergeant Clarke began a dialogue with the obviously mentally disturbed gentleman and negotiated with him for more than thirty minutes. Suddenly, the subject became extremely agitated and began stabbing the child. Acting on instinct alone, and with little concern for their own personal safety, the three officers rushed the knife-wielding man, subdued him and rescued the injured boy.

The Bronze Medal they received is given in cooperation with the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and recognizes acts of bravery involving unusual personal risk and for demonstrating unusual judgement, zeal and ingenuity in an emergency situation. On April 24, 1990, Sergeant Clarke was also awarded the Bernard C. Cooke, Jr. Police Community Service Award, the Montgomery County Police Department's highest award for community service. His numerous awards and citations also include the Maryland State Senate and House of Representatives Outstanding Service Award.
Captain Clarke is also credited with saving the lives of two neighbors while he was vacationing in North Carolina on July 20, 1994. The front yard of his neighbors' home was ablaze and a large tree next to the house was fully engulfed with flames extending up the steps to the front door. It was hot, dry and windy and the fire was spreading rapidly. Armed with a garden hose and his ingenuity, he kept the blaze under control long enough to allow the couple to safely exit their home. In the commendation he subsequently received it was noted that his quick, decisive actions and leadership skills were directly responsible for preventing a tragedy from occurring and reflected favorably upon his entire department.

"Ed Clarke is a caring and committed police officer who has demonstrated true leadership in the area of community policing during his twenty-four years of law enforcement service," says Major Alan G. Rodbell, Chief of the Field Services Bureau for the Montgomery County Police.

Married with two children, Captain Clarke is an active volunteer in various community programs including the local PTA, the youth sports program, the Middle School Substance Abuse Awareness Program, and the Police Athletic League. Captain Clarke holds a Masters of Public Administration from American University, and is an adjunct instructor for the Montgomery County Police Academy and the National Institutes of Health Police.
Captain Clarke has never fired his weapon in the line of duty and has an impressive conviction rate. His professional affiliations include the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Alliance of Montgomery County Police Supervisors/Police Association and the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce.

"This is a well-deserved recognition of Captain Ed Clarke's dedication and commitment to our profession," says Montgomery County Chief of Police Charles A. Moose, Ph.D. "He has been a recognized leader in our community throughout his career."