NYSACOP TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING
August 16, 2022, 11:00 AM (Zoom)
Meeting Minutes
  • Meeting Called to Order – 11:00 AM

 

  • Roll Call:  

    Chief Joseph Sinagra, Saugerties PD, Inspector David Regina, Suffolk County PD, Monroe County Director of Public Safety Richard Tantalo, 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 members present and accounted for.

 

  • Guests: No guests this meeting.

 

  • Approval of July 24, 2022, Committee Meeting Minutes.

Motion: Chief Joseph Sinagra
2nd : Inspector David Regina

 

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

Inspector David Regina stated nothing new to report at this time. Next meeting TBD sometime this fall.

 

    • IACP Impaired Driving & Traffic Safety Conference – August 21-23, San Antonio, TX

TSSC Denz reported that Sgt. Jon Rivers, Rochester PD and Officer Greg Sandbichler, Suffolk County PD are registered for the conference and have travel arranged.

Chairman Georges reported that we are in the process of adapting for NYSACOP use the Training Critique Form which Chief Sinagra provided, and should have it ready for the attendees to complete upon their return from the conference.

 

    • GTSC Labor Day Press Event – August 12, NYS Welcome Center, Dix Hills, N.Y.

Inspector David Regina reported that he participated in the press conference event, which was a big success and was well attended, with a muti-agency representation. He related that the victim advocate speaker, Officer Tim Thrane, Suffolk County PD, did an outstanding job.

TSSC Denz reported that NYSACOP Zone 2 Representative, Police Commissioner Kenneth Jackson, Garden City Police Department, attended on our behalf and GTSC staff were pleased with our assistance in planning the event.

 

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

Chairman Georges reported that he had the opportunity to participate in the Major City Chiefs meetings at the NYSACOP Conference in July. He stated that all those who were in attendance were very engaged and that the meeting was productive.

Chairman Georges further related that the NYSACOP Traffic Safety Team is going to start setting up regional meetings with Chiefs and their assigned NYSACOP Traffic Safety Points of Contact. He asked Chief Sinagra, Inspector David Regina and Director Tantalo if they would be willing to assist with logistics in their respective regions, all agreed they would do so.

 

    • DMV Legal Response re: Drivers Participating in Zoom Meetings While Driving

Chairman Georges asked the TSC if they desire to move forward with a legislative initiative towards updating the V&T Law distracted driving section as it is currently written. All members agreed we should. Chief Sinagra suggested that the TSC draft a legislative proposal, send it to NYSACOP NYPD Liaison, Assistant Deputy Commissioner Oleg Chernyavsky, for his review and input as legal advisor, then present a final draft to the NYSACOP Board of Governors for their approval. Chairman Georges suggested to have this in place before the next Board of Governors Meeting; all TSC members agreed.

TSOL Geraci further stated that he will be attending a conference for the Association of Counties which is scheduled for September in Buffalo, and he is planning on addressing this issue there as well.

 

    • National LEL Program Request for Webinar

Chairman Georges relayed there was a request from the National Law Enforcement Liaison Program for NYSACOP to assist in hosting a webinar with Suffolk County PD. After some discussion, Chairman Georges and Inspector Regina agreed to work on the logistics and report back to the TSC.

 

    • Traffic Safety Engagement and Equity in Enforcement Programs

Chairman Georges polled the TSC members regarding their observations on traffic safety engagement and enforcement in their respective locations. Inspector Regina related that it appears officer engagement is slowly returning to pre-pandemic levels and that crashes in his area are flat, to slightly down from 2021 to 2022. Chief Sinagra stated that his agency was very involved with the Speed Week engagement campaign and received very positive support from his community for enforcement efforts. Director Tantalo stated that traffic enforcement deployments have significantly increased in Monroe County, as well as DWI arrests.

Chairman Georges conducted a follow-up discussion relating to his attendance at the recent IACP Highway Safety Committee meeting in Washington, D.C. He related that per the request of the Virginia State Association of Chiefs of Police, both NHTSA and Federal DOT representatives were invited to speak at the meeting on the topic of “Equity” and their organizational positions regarding that term. Unfortunately, none of their representatives were able to attend the meeting. Chairman Georges stated that based on his presentation at the meeting, he believes that there will be more adoption of the NYSACOP terminology of “Non-Biased Policing”, as that position is easier to understand and does not potentially affect officer discretion.

Chairman Georges also reported that GTSC is planning on hiring staff in the near future who will be assigned and dedicated to “Equity” issues however no specifics on how that will be rolled out have been shared with NYSACOP.

 

  • New Business:
    • Coalition Against Big Trucks (CABT) Request for NYSACOP Support

Chairman Georges reported that he received a formal letter from CABT outlining their organization’s position on pending federal large truck legislation and a request that we support their initiatives. Chairman Georges asked the TSC members if they believe NYSACOP should endorse the CABT endeavors. Chief Sinagra = Yes; Director Tantalo = Yes; Inspector Regina = requested more time to review. Chairman Georges then tabled this item until next TSC Meeting.

 

    • National Law Enforcement Memorial & Museum Webinar “What is Killing Officers on Our Roadways: A Review of the Data”

TSOL Geraci reported that he participated in this webinar which was presented by Nick Breul, a retired Metro D.C. Police Officer and currently a Program Manager for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. TSOL Geraci suggested that the TSC invite him to be a guest at a future TSC meeting and speak on his topic. Then if the TSC finds his subject matter to be on point, and he is a good instructor, the TSC can recommend him to the Conference Committee to be considered to give his presentation at the 2023 Annual Conference. All TSC members agreed and TSOL Geraci stated he would handle sending the invitation to Mr. Breul.

 

    • NYSACOP – NYSSA Leadership Summit, November 9 & 10, 2022, Queensbury Hotel, Glens Falls, N.Y.

Chairman Georges informed the TSC of the event and relayed that he is considering holding the November TSC Meeting in-person at the Summit. All TSC Members agreed with more to follow as registration for the Summit has not opened as of yet. Chief Sinagra suggested that TSC members book their stay at the Queensbury as soon as the registration opens, if not before, as it is very likely the hotel will fill up rapidly once the announcement comes out.

 

    • GTSC Update/Issues

Chairman Georges gave updates on the GTSC re-organization and discussed the staff meeting called by Deputy Commissioner Owen McShane and Director Jim Allen which NYSACOP Executive Director Phelan, TSSC Denz, TSOL Geraci and he attended in Albany on August 15, 2022.

 

    • Traffic Safety Activities and Training Courses

Inspector Regina reported that Suffolk County PD has 3 DWI Checkpoint details scheduled during the Impaired Driving National Enforcement Mobilization initiative, which is being conducted August 19 through September 5, 2022.

 

    • Other

No other topics raised/discussed at this meeting.

 

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

Chairman Georges discussed holding the next TSC meeting via Zoom at 11:00 A.M. on September 13, 2022. All members agreed.

 

    • TSC Meetings with Traffic Safety Partners/Guests:

As previously reported, TSOL Geraci to send an invitation to retired Metro D.C. Police Officer and current Program Manager for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Mr. Nick Breul.

TSSC Denz to send and invitation to Sgt. Jon Rivers, Rochester PD and Officer Greg Sandbichler, Suffolk County PD to report back to the Committee on their attendance at the IACP Impaired Driving & Traffic Safety Conference.

 

    • NYSACOP TSC – Recruitment, Diversity and Succession Plan:

Recruitment is ongoing. Nothing to report at this meeting.

 

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

Chairman Georges reported that he will be working on an article for “Intersections” related to S.A.D.D.

 

    • Other:

No other topics raised/discussed at this meeting.

 

  • Date of Next Meeting: September 13, 2022, at 11:00 AM via Zoom.

 

  • Adjourn:

Motion: Director Tantalo
2nd: Inspector Regina

 

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.