Richard was nominated by his co worker, James Shanahan, who said “Police Officer Richard Rothwell has been a member of the Nassau County Police Department since 2004. In February of 2016 while visiting family upstate, he felt numbness in his left hand, face and had difficulty talking. After many years of first responder experience, he feared he was having a stroke and asked to be taken to the nearest hospital immediately. After a long night of testing, Officer Rothwell was informed that he had a large brain tumor. In March of 2016 Officer Rothwell underwent brain surgery to remove the tumor and pathology results would then confirm that he was facing a stage 3 brain cancer diagnosis. The next year would prove to be a true testament to Officer Rothwell’s perseverance and diligence in taking on new challenges. Enduring 6 weeks of radiation, twice-monthly immunotherapy infusions and monthly doses of chemotherapy for a year, Officer Rothwell never once missed an appointment and was assiduous at following doctors’ orders. Officer Rothwell did everything he could to boost his immune system and improve upon his diet and exercise routine.
Officer Rothwell never wavered in his dedication to his family or his health, and despite this grueling and aggressive treatment plan, he remained devoted to his two young children, working hard to keep life as normal as possible for them. While most people assumed Officer Rothwell would be leaving the force, that wasn’t the case.
In April 2017 Officer Rothwell was ready to return to work full time and tackle a new challenge, embracing his new role as an instructor at the Police Academy. With over 12 years of patrol experience, and the gained perspective that battling a life- threatening illness has given him, Officer Rothwell has proven to be an asset to the Police Academy, modeling strength and dedication to our newest members. During and throughout the recovery from his illness, Officer Rothwell has become an inspiration to many, improving upon not only his physical health, but also his mental well being, incorporating regular meditation and mindfulness practices to his daily life. Officer Rothwell has used this skill set to help revamp the Stress Management in Policing Coursework to include mindfulness and meditation techniques, along with more healthy meal choices. Officer Rothwell’s resolve and dedication to the Nassau County Police Department, after battling a life threatening illness, is a testament to his courage and continuing strong will to help others.
In July 2021 Officer Rothwell made a decision to switch from the Police Academy and move to the Police Activity League (PAL). This gave him the opportunity to go back out and interact and communicate with the youth of the community, help families and the Police Department understand each other. Today he continues teaching members of the department about stress, overall wellness and maintaining a healthy lifestyle through healthy meal choices and exercise routines. Officer Rothwell is a pillar of strength and should be recognized for all that he has done and been through.”
Richard, thanks for all you do for the community. As a way of saying thanks, you will receive a $100 gift card for Moe’s Southwest Grill.
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