NYSACOP TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING

Minutes for June 10, 2021

Meeting Called to Order

  • Meeting Called to Order by the Chair @9am at the Comfort Inn, Latham, N.Y.

Roll Call:  Chief Daniel Denz – Present, Chief (ret.) Mark Henderson – Excused, Deputy Inspector David Regina – Present, Chief Joseph Sinagra – Present, Chief (ret.) Michael Geraci – Present, Assistant Chief (ret.) William Georges – TSC Chair – Present.

  • Introduction of Guests:

GTSC - Asst. Comm. Chuck DeWeese and Director Jim Allen, NHTSA Region 2 - LEL Ray Davis, IACP - Joe Abrusci, DRE Program Manager - NYSP LEL, Sgt. Todd Engwer, NYSSA LEL - Anthony D’Agostino.

Approval of May 4th Committee Meeting Minutes.

  • Motion by Chief Denz, 2nd by Chief Sinagra - Approved.

Updates/Status on Previous Agenda Topics:

  • Review of May 19th ATVs/Dirt Bikes Enforcement Webinar (Mike & Bill)

Bill provided an overview of the webinar that was attended by over 100 P’sOC. Presenters were Capt. Jeff Rinaldo from Buffalo PD and Officer Mark Weekes, Schenectady PD. We received a great amount of positive feedback as this topic was a repeated requested forum. Additional information:

Since the webinar Buffalo PD has continued their related activities and have also included enforcement initiatives utilizing air support from the NYSP. Deputy Inspector Regina relayed that Suffolk County PD is considering using Suffolk’s air support as well.

Chief Denz mentioned that atv/dirt bike activity is increasing on West Seneca’s rail beds.

Chief Sinagra mentioned that Saugerties PD is planning related enforcement initiatives in partnership with NYS DEC Police.

  • Marijuana Legislation/Law Enforcement Issues/Cannabis Assoc. (Chief Sinagra/All).

Chief Sinagra is our lead POC on this issue. He provided an overview of his on-going conversations with the District Attorney’s Association regarding the development of local laws specific to possession by those under 18 years of age. Chief Sinagra has also established a working relationship with the New York Cannabis Association. As such, he will ask representatives from the Association to attend one of our upcoming Traffic Safety Committee meetings.

  • “Lights On” Campaign (Chief Sinagra)

Chief Sinagra provided an overview of Saugerties PD’s Lights On Campaign. Essentially, motorists that are stopped for equipment violations are provided with a repair voucher for various local repair shops. Chief Sinagra reports that this is National program beginning to get attention in NYS. It is innovative in nature and has helped to improve police/community relations in Saugerties and other communities where it exists. All Committee members expressed great interest in the project. We will feature this effort in future NYSACOP publications.

  • Driver’s License Issues (D/Insp. Regina)

Deputy Inspector Regina reports that one of Highway Patrol Officers stopped a motorist for a V&T violation, when provided with the NYS drivers license where the name should be listed it was labeled “No Name Given”. Suffolk PD contacted NYS DMV Field Operations and was informed that this was in fact a legally issued document. If a driver’s license applicant provides that information to DMV, then that will serve as the record on file. DMV states that there are other similar documents in existence, mainly generated from the Asian-American community.

New Business:

  • NYSACOP Point of Contacts – Accomplishments and Moving Forward (Mike and Bill)

We are holding at 210 P’sOC. A concerted effort to increase the cadre from NYSACOP Zones 7, 8 and 9 will take place in the near future. Several retirements and reassignments are also anticipated so the effort to maintain a current updated roster will be a priority issue for us.

  • NYSACOP Representative on NYS TAP Committee

Bill and Mike were recently informed that NYS has a standing DRE Technical Advisory Panel (TAP), similar to the IACP’s Committee. As a result, we have requested that NYSACOP have a liaison member on the Committee. The issue was discussed and approved by GTSC leadership. As NYSACOP Committee assignments serve at the pleasure of the President, potential options were discussed, it was decided that Deputy Inspector David Regina would be the TSC recommendation. This selection is based on his leadership of Suffolk County’s Highway Patrol Unit, as well as his vast experience and expertise in Impaired Driving. The NYSACOP Board meets on June 11, we will seek his appointment at that time.

  • National Efforts to Eliminate/Decrease Traffic Enforcement. (All)

Continuing discussions regarding defunding the police and lack of support for traffic enforcement at the local, State, and national level remain detrimental to pro-active policing. Bill discussed at length the need to delineate police tactics from police conduct as poor conduct should not inhibit the ability to perform ethical and legal tactics. The TSC will continue to support and promote the concept of Traffic Safety Engagement, which includes, but is not limited to public outreach, education, and enforcement however, it is not driven solely by enforcement activity. This issue will remain a priority for the TSC and NYSACOP.

  • Suggestions re: Topics for “Intersections” and Future Podcasts (All).

The Chair continues to seek publication and podcast topics from TSC members.

  • Updates on Traffic Safety Enforcement Activities and Training Courses (Bill & Mike).
  • Pedestrian Safety Week begins Friday, June 11
  • DDACTS training in Syracuse, August 4-5. Tony Dagostino is the lead POC. Promotional materials will be distributed via NYSACOP electronic delivery methods to our membership.
  • July 31-August 8 is NYS Speed Enforcement Week, more information to follow.

Follow-up Activities/Assignments:

  • Schedule re: Future TSC Meetings (All)

A consensus among Committee members to conduct quarterly in-person meetings to coincide with NYSACOP Board meetings. All other monthly TSC meetings will be via Zoom for the foreseeable future. All future dates are TBD.

  • TSC Meetings with Traffic Safety Partners (All)

The TSC external partners will be invited to all In-person quarterly meetings. Suggestion for a future presentation by the VP of NY MADD and NYS Marihuana industry reps.

Other?

Nothing at this time.

10:00 A.M. - 10:15 A.M. Break

10:15 A.M – 12:30 P. M.  Roundtable Discussion with Partners / Working Lunch

All partners had an opportunity to discuss issues of interest / concern to them / their agencies. Topics included, not limited to:

  • Significant increase of fatalities, year to year comparison
  • NYS fatality data review by category, belts, speed, etc.
  • Equity / diversity issues
  • Difficulty in arrest / prosecution of drug-impaired driving cases, especially as it pertains to marihuana
  • GHSA Conference in Denver, 9/11-15/21
  • Offers of assistance by NHTSA Region 2 LEL, IACP DRE Program Coordinator, NYSP and NYSSA LEL’s

Date of Next Meeting: July 13 at 11am via Zoom.

Adjourn

Motion to adjourn by Chief Sinagra, 2nd by Chief Denz  Meeting adjourned at 12:45pm

Mission Statement

Assist our members in enhancing traffic safety services to reduce crash related fatalities, injuries, and economic loss, while also providing additional positive outcomes resulting in safer roadways and communities.