Otto Raphael was a courageous and heroic member of the New York City Police Department during the early 20th century. He served the citizens of New York City with distinction and went above and beyond the call of duty to help those in need, both in the United States and abroad.
His bravery and selflessness were evident early on when he and his father saved the lives of over twelve people caught in a burning tenement near their home on Allen Street. This act of heroism caught the attention of future President Theodore Roosevelt, who urged Raphael to take the police test. Raphael passed with flying colors having the highest score on the fitness test.
Raphael’s career in law enforcement was marked by numerous notable incidents, including his apprehension of a dangerous murderer who had previously killed 14 people. He was also shot while handling a prisoner and sustained a severe injury while saving crowds of school children from a runaway horse.
However, it was not just in the United States that Raphael made a difference. While visiting Cuba in 1906, he intervened on behalf of Wilson Dickson, who had been unjustly sentenced to jail. Thanks to Raphael’s efforts, Dickson was released from prison that day.
In recognition of his extraordinary heroism and dedication to public service, it would be fitting to honor members of the law enforcement community in Otto Raphael’s name. He exemplified the highest ideals of law enforcement and showed that even in the face of danger and adversity, one could make a positive difference in the lives of others. Raphael’s legacy serves as an inspiration to all those who do in law enforcement today.
- 2022 – Deputy Inspector William Gallagher, NYPD
- 2021 – No Award
- 2020- No Award
- 2019 – Chief of Dept. Terrance A. Monahan
- 2018 – Chief Dermont Shea
- 2017 – Dep. Comm NYPD John Miller
- 2016 – None
- 2015 – Lt. Jack Cambria
- 2014 – Lt. Tony Giorgio
- 2013 – John Buquicchiro
- 2012 – Msgr. David Cassato
- 2011 – Chief Joseph Fox
- 2010 – Hon. Peter King
- 2009 – P.O. Susan Porcello
- 2008 – None
- 2007 – Sgt. Brian Reilly
- 2006 – Deputy Chief Chaplain FR. Robert J Romano
- 2005 – Chief of Department Joseph J. Esposito / Hon. Mario Biaggi
- 2004 – 1st Dep. Commissioner George Grasso
- 2003 – Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly