Each year the Theodore Roosevelt Association recognizes a Dallas Police Officer who has overcome a life threatening injury, illness, or other overwhelming obstacles and who demonstrates exceptional courage, determination, and perseverance while overcoming adversity and ultimately returning to serve with the department. This year, Officer Zacharie Perez has been awarded the 20th Annual Theodore Roosevelt Award.
On August 20, 2017, Officer Zacharie Perez, a four-year officer of the Dallas Police Department, was involved in a major accident while responding to a call for service. The driver of the other vehicle was subsequently charged with Driving While Intoxicated.
Due to the accident, Officer Perez sustained a series of injuries which included; four skull fractures, a brain hemorrhage, a concussion, and multiple abrasions. Officer Perez also suffered short-term memory loss and loss of cognitive skills from his head injuries. Officer Perez was released from the hospital several days after being admitted. Officer Perez began cognitive and physical therapy soon after the accident and worked diligently so that he could return to work earlier than expected.
In early December of 2017, Officer Perez returned to full duty at the Northeast Patrol Division. His ability to return to work after such a devastating accident has earned him the respect and admiration of his fellow officers. Officer Perez continues to perform his job at an exceptional level following a remarkable recovery.