Detective Arnold W. James was appointed to the Boston Police Department in 1956 and was one of the first members of the Tactical Police Force. In 1977 Detective James was in pursuit of armed robbers in Mattapan when he was shot in the head. Despite his severe wound, he was able to summon assistance for his partner, Detective John McManus, who had been shot four times. Detective James was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions.
Detective James was a World War II veteran, he was the first sworn police officer to complete Northeastern University’s program in criminal justice, and he devoted much of his free time to working with youth in the community.