Penn Police officer Ed Miller, who was one of six people shot by a gunman at the beginning of the academic year, is back to work at the Penn Police department after resuming his position earlier this month.
Miller’s co-workers surprised him with a welcoming ceremony on Feb. 8 after he returned from months of rehabilitation for two gunshot wounds in the hip and ankle and a graze wound to the elbow during the shooting spree that occurred outside of the Penn Patrol Zone. The gunman, a 25-year old man, had expressed hatred towards police.
Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said Miller “got a little choked up” as he was called to the podium on his first day back.
“It feels good to be back after recovering from my injuries from that night,” Miller wrote in an emailed statement. “I’m back on my feet and ready to do the job I set out to do for the Penn community.”
Rush said Penn Police wants him to pace himself as he transitions from recovery back into the workforce, but she believes that Miller — who has served 35 years as a police officer, two of them with Penn Police — is ready to make the switch.
“I think he was bored,” Rush said, and added that protecting the community is “in his blood still.”
A few weeks before the shooting, Miller and the other Penn Police officers underwent a two-day training course that included situations like shooting while moving to and from behind cover. Just a few days later he put that training to use, instinctively dragging himself behind a parked car for cover.
“I’m very proud of Eddie’s reaction when he was shot,” Rush said. “That kind of training isn’t the kind of training you put in someone’s head. It’s in your stomach.”
Miller’s story did not go unnoticed by the larger community. He will be awarded the Ring of Honor at the Philadelphia St. Patrick’s Day Parade this year. According to its website, the accolade recognizes “those who have given exemplary service in and to the Irish Community of the Philadelphia Tri-State Area.”
Although Miller’s actions on Sept. 16 have been recognized, Rush stressed that “what he did is what [Penn Police] do every night.”