April 12, 2023 11:00 A.M. (Zoom)
Meeting Minutes
  • Meeting Called to Order – 11:00 AM
  • Roll Call:  Chief Joseph Sinagra, Saugerties PD, Inspector David Regina, Suffolk County PD, Director of Public Safety Richard Tantalo, Monroe County, Chief Kenzie Spaulding, Corning PD, Chief (ret.) Daniel Denz, West Seneca PD (NYSACOP Traffic Safety Services Coordinator), Chief (ret.) Michael Geraci, Schenectady PD (NYSACOP TSOL), Assistant Chief (ret.) William Georges, Albany PD (NYSACOP TSOL & TSC Chairman).


All present and accounted for.


  • Guests:  Chief William J. Worden, MPA, Port Jervis PD; Rob Lopez, GTSC
Chairman Georges introduced both guests to the TSC members and gave a short bio background on each of them.


      • Approval of March 9th, 2023, Committee Meeting Minutes:

Motion: Director Tantalo
2nd : Inspector Regina


      • Updates/Status on Previous Agenda Topics:
        • NYS TAP Committee/DRE Issues:

Inspector Regina stated that there was nothing new to report. He further stated that the DRE Course pass/fail rate, recertification rate, and SFST competence across the state is concerning, however, there are numerous trainings being offered to shore these areas up and DRE Program Manager Renee Borden is closely monitoring the situation.


        • Coalition Against Big Trucks (CABT) Update:

Chairman Georges reported that he was recently in Washington D.C. to participate in a lobbying effort against Bill 471 which if passed would permit significant increases in commercial motor vehicle weight and length. He stated that he was able to speak with both NYS Senators and several members of the NYS Congressional delegation.

Chief Sinagra reported that he recently spoke with CABT representative Rob Bielunas and is working with him on crafting letters of opposition to Bill 471 to be delivered to members of the House and Senate. Once they are completed, Chief Sinagra will make them available to the TSC and stated a further follow-up campaign might happen whereby NYSACOP will be asked to have their members personally reach out to their area lawmakers.


        • Oral Fluid Testing:

Chairman Georges reported that he has been following up with Jeff Aden, Intoximeters and Chuck DeWeese, Connecting Clients, LLC., regarding their presentation on Oral Fluid Testing at the March 2023 TSC meeting. Chairman Georges stated he offered Intoximeters as a possible speaker to the ESLETS Conference Planning Committee however no decision has been made yet, as to whether or not they will be asked to participate at the conference.

Chairman Georges stated that NYSACOP has been asked to consider a position statement on Oral Fluid testing. After an in-depth discussion by the TSC members, it was determined that more anecdotal information must be gathered from NYSACOP member agencies who are currently, or have in the past, participated in an oral fluid testing pilot program before a position statement can be crafted and issued.

Chairman Georges stated that the NYSACOP Traffic Safety Team is going to attempt to identify those member agencies who are currently, or have in the past, participated in an oral fluid testing pilot program and ask them to join in a Zoom meeting to discuss their individual agency’s experiences, so we can gather additional information re: a possible position statement. He further offered the TSC members the opportunity to take part in the meeting and will keep the TSC members posted on any progress made as we move forward.


        • Massachusetts Mandatory Cannabis Impaired Driving Curriculum:

Chairman Georges reported that he is following up on crafting a position statement on the AAA Cannabis Impaired Driving Curriculum, which is now mandatory in Massachusetts, as was previously discussed and requested by the TSC. Chairman Georges stated that he plans on contacting AAA reps for assistance. The TSC unanimously agreed that this effort should continue forward.


        • Johns Hopkins University Project: Innovative Approaches to Law Enforcement and Traffic Safety

TSOL Geraci reported that Johns Hopkins representatives have committed to present at the NYSACOP Annual Conference in July. They are still working on logistics for their attendance and are expected to announce the actual presenters in the near future.

Chairman Georges reported that Johns Hopkins has posted another webinar from Noon to 1:30 P.M. on April 17, 2023. This is the second in a series and is directed at Law Enforcement supervisors. Chairman Georges stated that the first webinar in the series was well done, and he encouraged the TSC members to participate. The webinar registration link will be emailed to the TSC members later today.


        • NYSACOP Executive Leadership Summit, Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Chairman Georges reported that the Traffic Safety Executive Leadership training session which was conducted at the Summit on March 23rd was a great success. He stated the evaluations from the class were very positive and we have received numerous individual requests for follow up assistance regarding traffic safety re-engagement strategies and grant opportunities, including guidance on the County Crash Dashboard data program.


        • 2023 ESLETS Conference, May 10 – 11, Rochester, N.Y.

Chairman Georges reported that the agenda for the conference is almost finalized. Inspector Regina will be presenting a segment on street racing, and Director Tantalo stated that Monroe County STOP DWI Coordinator Lindsay Tomidy will give a presentation on the Monroe County “Drive to be Better” initiative.

TSOL Geraci reported that Nick Breul (ret.) MPDC, Senior Project Manager, National Law Enforcement Memorial and Museum has finalized his paperwork with the Planning Committee and is all set to conduct his presentation.

Chief Sinagra and Director Tantalo will be attending the conference and Chief Spaulding will be sending personnel.


        • DCJS Public Safety Symposium, September 25 – 28, 2023, Albany, N.Y:

TSSC Denz stated that there is nothing new to report. We should hear back from DCJS sometime in May as to whether or not the Traffic Safety Executive Leadership training has been included in the Symposium agenda.


        • World Traffic Safety Symposium, New York Auto Show, April 6, 2023, NYC:

TSOL Geraci attended the Symposium. It was conducted well, but no new topics were introduced during the event.


        • Outreach to Regional Chiefs of Police Associations & Major City Chiefs:

Chairman Georges reported on the numerous Regional meetings the Traffic Safety team has visited over the past several months and reported that the Erie County Traffic Safety Executive Leadership training went very well. Additional planning is being done to conduct a training with the Central New York Association of Chiefs of Police in June.


        • GTSC Update/Issues: 

Chairman Georges delivered a short synopsis on the status of the FY23 NYSACOP GTSC grant, as well as reporting the fact we are currently engaged the FY24 grant application process. He then asked our GTSC Program Manager, Rob Lopez, for input on GTSC issues.

Mr. Lopez reiterated that the Call Letters for the FY24 application process have been sent out and that applications must be submitted by May 1st. He also stated that the FY23 Mid-Year Progress reports are due by April 15th. He then explained the grant application and approval process in detail and the important role each County Traffic Safety Board plays to move the applications forward to the approval stage.

Mr. Lopez related he has been seeing a trend during reviews of Final Progress Reports submitted by grantees, that some departments are only participating in the BUNY initiative and nothing outside of that. Chief Sinagra suggested that perhaps GTSC raise their grantee accountability standards and review grant responsibilities with agencies before they can receive additional grant funding. Mr. Lopez stated he would forward Chief Sinagra’s suggestion to the GTSC leadership.


        • Traffic Safety Engagement and Equity in Enforcement Programs:

Chairman Georges stated that there was nothing new to report and that the NYSACOP offer to assist with the GHSA Committee is still open. At this time, GHSA has not accepted the offer.


      • New Business:
        • Coalition to Protect New Yorkers from Drugged Driving:

Chairman Georges reported that Suffolk County ADA Maureen McCormick has introduced new legislative proposal S3135/A174 into the current NYS legislative session. This bill contains proposals on codifying oral fluid testing, as well as closing legal loopholes concerning impaired driving. NYSACOP supports these efforts and will monitor the progress of the bill.


        • Traffic Safety Activities and Training Courses:

Chairman Georges listed all the posted traffic safety trainings and initiatives the Traffic Safety Team is aware of. He also mentioned the offer to sponsor a Below 100 Train the Trainer Course, to which Chief Sinagra expressed interest for Ulster County. TSSC Denz will contact Chief Sinagra to work out logistics of conducting a course in that region.

Chairman Georges also reported on the upcoming MADD Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon to be held May 2nd in Albany, and congratulated Inspector Regina for having officers form his agency receiving awards at the event.


        • Other:

Chief Sinagra reported on a new, developing issue with the legalization cannabis. He has discovered a loophole in the dispensing of new micro-brew beverages which are infused with THC and are being sold in area bars. The law is clear that alcoholic beverages cannot be served in Cannabis Consumption Lounges and that marijuana cannot be used in establishments with liquor licenses. However, there are now micro-brew beverages which contain both THC and alcohol in one beverage. After contacting both NYS ABC and the NYS Cannabis Commission, Chief Sinagra was informed that these new concoctions are legal under both Federal and State law and are permitted to be sold in local taverns, as long as the beverage contains .03% or less THC. These new beverages effect sobriety in different ways and are found to have unique physical absorption/metabolism properties that are resulting in unexpected medical challenges. Chief Sinagra will give the TSC updates on this situation as it continues to unfold.

Director Tantalo reported that the Monroe Probation Department just received a grant to assist them with education on, and monitoring usage of, interlock devices.

Inspector Regina reported that traffic safety engagement within his agency has significantly increased and there has been no pushback from the local politicians or public. He also reported that his agency has conducted 15 pedestrian fatal crashes since January 1, 2023, and that after a dip in street racing earlier in the year, it, along with ATV and dirt bike usage on the highways, has picked up significantly since the weather has improved.

Chairman Georges reported that he had been contacted by former NHTSA Region 2 Administrator Tom Louizou on whether or not there is any interest in New York re: lowering the BAC limit to .05. The committee discussed the issue and determined that at this time it does not appear to be a priority.


      • Follow-up Activities/Assignments:
        • Schedule re: Future TSC Meetings

Chairman Georges suggested that the next TSC Meeting be held in-person at the ESLETS Conference in May. After discussion a tentative date and time of May 10, 2023 from 4:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. would be slated and reevaluated once the Conference agenda is finalized.


        • TSC Meetings with Traffic Safety Partners/Guests:

Inspector Regina reported that he contacted Dr. Lisa Patierne and invited her to be a future guest and present her program called “Guarding the Guardians”. She has agreed to do so and a meeting to have her as a guest will be determined.


        • NYSACOP TSC – Recruitment, Diversity and Succession Plan:

Chairman Georges again welcomed Chief Worden and thanked him for attending the meeting. Chief Worden was then given an opportunity to address the TSC members.


        • Topics for “Intersections” and podcasts including guest contributors: (All)

Director Tantalo confirmed that Monroe County STOP DWI Coordinator Lindsay Tomidy will write an article for an upcoming “Intersections” article re: the Monroe County “Drive to be Better” initiative.


        • Other:

GTSC Program Manager Lopez informed the TSC of the upcoming Commercial Motor Vehicle Awareness training scheduled May 3, 2023 at the NYPD training academy. Chairman Georges also mentioned the Motorcycle Enforcement trainings NYSACOP had sponsored around the state this spring.


      • Executive Session:
        • Chairman Georges requested the Traffic Safety Committee to go into Executive Session at 12:15 P.M.


      • Meeting Called Back in Session:
        • Chairman Georges called the Traffic Safety Committee meeting back into regular session at 12:28 P.M.; no further business discussed.


      • Date of Next Meeting:
        • Tentative date and time of May 10, 2023 from 4:30 P.M. to 5:30 P.M. to be held in-person at the ESLETS Conference in Rochester, NY.


      • Motion to Adjourn:

1st: Chief Sinagra
2nd: Inspector Tantalo


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.