The North Bergen Police Department has named Officer Branden Bowden as the 2021 Officer of the Year, citing his work for de-escalating “a potentially deadly force incident” back in March.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Bowen has been an officer with the NBPD since December 2017 and spent approximately one-and-a-half years with the Hudson County Sheriff’s Office before transferring to the NBPD. He is currently assigned to the patrol division, the township wrote on their website.
In October 2020, Bowen became a Field Training Officer (FTO) and has trained several new officers. Then in March 2021, he responded to an apartment building on a report of a resident’s door being damaged with a weapon.
Bowen arrived on scene and observed a suspect holding a hammer. The suspect quickly retreated to their apartment.
He proceeded to the victim’s apartment to determine if there was anyone in need of assistance and immediately observed extensive damage to the victim’s door. Bowen contacted the victim to ascertain if anyone was injured, officials said.
He provided an update to headquarters and took a tactical position as he waited for backup units to arrive. While he was holding his position, the suspect exited the apartment and charged towards him with the weapon.
Bowen rapidly assessed the situation and deployed OC spray in order to de-escalate. The suspect again retreated into their apartment. Multiple officers responded and were able to then take the suspect safely into custody.
“PO Bowen took swift, decisive action and prevented the situation from escalating into a potentially deadly force incident,” the PD said in a statement.
“While confronted with a combative and irate suspect, who appeared to be suffering from excited delirium, PO Bowen maintained his composure and professionalism to ensure the suspect received the appropriate medical attention.”