Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly presented Inspector James Guida, Lieutenant James Doherty and Police Officer Peter Bolte with the New York City Police Department’s Theodore Roosevelt Award Thursday, in recognition of each officer’s endurance and performance of duty in the face of life-threatening illnesses and injury.
“Theodore Roosevelt said, ‘I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and lived them well,’” Commissioner Kelly said. “Every year, the winners of this award take their place among those who have confronted the most difficult circumstances imaginable and overcame them. You are an inspiration to us all.”
The Department has bestowed awards in the name of Theodore Roosevelt, former President of the New York City Police Commission who persevered physical challenges brought on by a debilitating heart condition and childhood asthma, since 2005. The recipients this year are:
Inspector James Guida, Commanding Officer of the Narcotics Borough Manhattan South and a 30-year veteran of the Department. In 2007, Inspector discovered a lump in his leg which doctors diagnosed as cancer. Two years after surgery to have the tumor removed and subsequent radiation treatments, cancer was found in his left lung, requiring another operation and more treatment. After it spread to his spine in 2010, three of Inspector Guida’s vertebrae were removed and replaced with rods and pins. Throughout his ordeal, Inspector Guida has excelled in his work -- under his leadership, arrests in Narcotics Borough Manhattan South increased three of the four years he has presided over the command, and he has overseen hundreds of successful search warrants. Inspector Guida previously commanded the 88th Precinct, the 42nd Precinct and the Brooklyn North Gang Unit.
Lieutenant James Doherty is the Commanding Officer of the 90th Precinct Detective Squad. He aspired to return to full duty after being nearly killed while riding a motorcycle off-duty in a hit-and-run accident in 2002. The accident in Florida severed his left leg below the knee, shattered his femur, fractured his elbow and dislocated his shoulder, causing massive blood loss that required Lieutenant Doherty be resuscitated en route to the hospital. After returning to New York he underwent several skin graphs and learned to walk with a prosthetic leg, completing an NYPD physical agility test only 14 months after the accident that nearly took his life. Since then, he has earned promotions to sergeant, lieutenant, and lieutenant commander detective squad. He now oversees investigations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Police Officer Peter Bolte of the Manhattan North Auto Larceny Unit felt excruciating pain on the left side of his head and nausea in 2008 which originally were misdiagnosed as impacted wisdom teeth. In fact, an artery in his head had ruptured, filling it with blood; he had suffered a cerebral aneurysm. Doctors gave him a 30% chance of survival and called in a priest to administer last rites. Eventually, the bleeding and swelling subsided, but Officer Bolte’s cognitive abilities were significantly impaired. He underwent months of intensive rehabilitation, slowly regained his memory and ability to speak. Since returning to work on February 15, 2009, Officer Bolte has effected more than 100 arrests for auto theft, narcotics and gun possession.
Past recipients of the Theodore Roosevelt Award include officers who have undergone major organ transplants and survived late-stage cancer and other medical hardship.
Theodore Roosevelt was the President of the New York City Police Commission from 1895 to 1897. Despite challenging health conditions, he rose in influence and prominence throughout his lifetime, serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New York before becoming President of the United States.