New York City Police Department

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Press Release | No. 2008-048

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Award is Given to Members of the Service Who Perform Excellent Work Despite Life-threatening Illness or Injury

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly tonight recognized four exceptional members of the New York City Police Department for their service to the City in spite of severe injuries or serious illnesses they suffered – and overcame.

Lieutenant Adam Lamboy, Sergeant William Twachtman, Detective Patrick DeCanio and Police Officer Brenda Vargas each were presented with the Department’s annual Theodore Roosevelt Award at a dinner ceremony in their and past recipients’ honor.

“Despite their life-threatening challenges, this year’s Roosevelt Award recipients have gone on to leave their mark – and improve others’ lives – through work in the Special Victims Division and Police Academy, and in firearms training and domestic violence intervention,” Commissioner Kelly said. “While there are stories of courage and determination everyday in the NYPD, theirs are among the most vivid tonight.”

Lieutenant Adam Lamboy

Lieutenant Adam Lamboy was returning home from his Times Square assignment on New Year’s Day 2006 when his car skidded on ice and hit a utility pole. Doctors gave him a 50 percent chance of surviving two punctured lungs, a crushed pelvis, separated sternum, broken scapula and arm, and 18 cracked ribs. He returned to limited duty after three weeks of intense rehabilitation and was back to full duty that August. Lt. Lamboy is the Commanding Officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Squad with 17 years of service.

Sergeant William Twachtman

Sergeant William Twachtman was an active member of the (since disbanded) Citywide Street Crime Unit when he was diagnosed with a terminal kidney disease. Ten weeks after undergoing surgery to receive a transplant organ from his mother, Sgt. Twachtman went back to work, as well as studied for and obtained his promotion to Sergeant. He works in the New York City Police Academy Computer Projects Unit and is in his fourteenth year of service.

Detective Patrick DeCanio

Detective Patrick De Canio has survived testicular cancer and the temporary removal of all of his lower organs, an extensive procedure performed just 10 days after the birth of his daughter in November 2001. He had worked at the World Trade Center after September 11 supervising recruit staff and participating in recovery efforts at Ground Zero. In April 2002 he returned to work; in 2005 he helped with disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Today the 16-year veteran of the Department provides specialized training at the Firing Range in Rodman’s Neck.

Police Officer Brenda Vargas

Police Officer Brenda Vargas is a 10-year veteran of the NYPD with more than 300 arrests to her credit. In July 2006, she was in her second trimester of pregnancy when Officer Vargas experienced a leaking congenital brain aneurism and had to undergo open cranial surgery. Subsequent to the healthy birth of her daughter six weeks later, Officer Vargas returned to work in the 23rd Precinct and serves there today as a Domestic Violence Prevention Officer.

Theodore Roosevelt suffered asthma as a child, as well as a debilitating heart condition. He overcame these challenges and associated perceptions of weakness to become New York City Police Commissioner in 1895, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Governor of New York, and ultimately President of the United States.

The Police Commissioner’s Theodore Roosevelt Award has been given annually since 2005 to exceptional members of the service who have overcome significant medical hardship.


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