Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill presented the NYPD’s Theodore Roosevelt Award to four members of the service who overcame severe illness and extensive treatment to return to their duties in the New York City Police Department.
The recipients of the award, in its eleventh year of being bestowed, include officers who underwent late-stage cancers, brain tumors, a brain aneurysm and a ruptured arterial venal malformation.
“Your personal battles continue and you’re still here as an active member of the service,” said Police Commissioner O’Neill. “These officers are here to fulfill our mission, to fight crime and keep the people of New York City safe.”
Most often remembered for his United States Presidency from 1901 to 1909,Theodore Roosevelt was previously the President of the New York City Police Commission from 1895 to 1897. He persevered physical challenges brought on by a heart condition and childhood asthma, and rose in influence and prominence throughout his lifetime. Roosevelt also served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New York. The Department has presented awards in his name since 2005.
This year’s recipients are:
Lieutenant John Hopkins
In April 2015, Lieutenant John Hopkins, 67 Precinct, was diagnosed with acoustic neuroma, a tumor that develops on the nerves leading from the inner ear to the brain, believed to be a 9/11 illness. He underwent an eight-hour surgery and three months of physical therapy to relearn motor skills. He also received hearing aids, due to a 95% hearing loss from the surgery. He has since returned to duty in the 67 Precinct. Lieutenant Hopkins joined the NYPD in August 1993, and began his career on patrol in the 114 Precinct. He also served in the 67, 73, and 108 Precincts, the Street Crime Unit, and the Narcotics Division. During his 23-year career, he has made more than 200 arrests and was recognized more than 30 times for Excellent Police Duty and Meritorious Police Duty.
Sergeant Nicholas Chernjawski
Detective Bureau Investigations
On June 17, 2007 – Father’s Day – Sergeant Nicholas Chernjawski, Detective Bureau Investigations, was on military drill when he began having seizures. Doctors discovered a lemon-sized tumor in his brain and determined it was an oligodendroglioma, generally considered to be incurable. He required several surgeries, 13 months of chemotherapy, and long cycles of physical, speech, and occupational therapy to help him overcome mobility and speaking issues. In October 2012, he returned to full duty and has had perfect attendance since 2014. In the U.S. Army Reserve, he has also returned to duty and has been promoted to lieutenant colonel. Sergeant Chernjawski joined the NYPD in July 1996, and began his career on patrol in the 28 Precinct. He also served in the 24 and 40 Precincts, and the Internal Affairs Bureau. During his 20-year career, Sergeant Chernjawski has made 65 arrests and has been recognized four times for Excellent Police Duty.
Sergeant Katarzyna Ganley
On October 28, 2015, Sergeant Katarzyna Ganley, 120 Precinct, was at home when she began to have severe head pain. She was rushed to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where doctors discovered she had a ruptured brain aneurysm. During endovascular surgery to repair the rupture, surgeons inserted a metal coil with a catheter to fill the aneurysm. In the process, they discovered a second bleeding aneurysm. Following another surgery four days later to insert a shunt, she underwent recovery at home for five months. In April 2016, she came back to work and returned to full duty one month later. Sergeant Ganley joined the NYPD in March 2000 and began her career on patrol in the 81 Precinct. She also served in the 60 Precinct, and Police Service Areas 1 and 3. During her 16-year career, she has made more than 115 arrests, and has been recognized two times for Excellent Police Duty.
Police Officer James Delargy
On September 17, 2011, Police Officer James Delargy, 105 Precinct, was at home after jogging when he suffered a ruptured arterial venal malformation. Doctors drilled holes in his skull during his initial surgery, and he then endured open-brain surgery following bleeding in his brain that night. The next day, he couldn’t move his legs and had no short-term memory. He first moved his right leg one month after surgery and underwent therapy in a harness to learn to walk. One year to the day after his surgery, he returned to work and was restored to full duty in September 2013. Police Officer Delargy joined the NYPD in January 2007, and began his career on patrol in the 105 Precinct. During his nine-year career, Police Officer Delargy has made more than 85 arrests and has been recognized three times for Excellent Police Duty and Meritorious Police Duty.