NYSACOP TRAFFIC SAFETY COMMITTEE MEETING

Minutes

May 4, 2021

Meeting Called to Order (Zoom)

  • The meeting was called to order at 11:00 AM

Roll Call:  Chief Daniel Denz – Present, Chief (ret.) Mark Henderson – Present, Deputy Inspector David Regina – Excused, Chief Joseph Sinagra – Present, Chief (ret.) Michael Geraci (NYSACOP Traffic Safety Services Coordinator) – Present, Assistant Chief (ret.) William Georges (NYSACOP TSOL & TSC Chairman) – Present

Approval of April 7th Committee Meeting Minutes:
  • Motion by Chief Henderson, 2nd by Chief Denz, All in favor, None opposed.

Updates/Status on Previous Agenda Topics:

  • Traffic Point of Contacts (Mike & Bill)

There are currently 210 confirmed Points of Contact in our database. There is a need of additional POC’s in Zones 7, 8 and 9. As such, there will an on-going effort to recruit new POC’s. We are hopeful of having a new Zone 8 rep who will assist with this effort.

  • Podcast by TraCS Coordinator, NYSP Sgt. Hedges (Mike)

We are still waiting the assistance of the NYSP to produce and deliver a TraCS webinar. NYSP Sgt. Hedges has agreed to produce and present the material but as not provided any updates in several months. Mike will discuss this issue further with GTSC for assistance.

  • ATVs/Dirt Bikes Enforcement/Webinar scheduled for May 19th, 10:00 A.M. (Mike & Bill)

As there is a great amount of interest in this topic, we have partnered with GTSC to present this focused webinar. We have confirmed presentations by Buffalo PD and Schenectady PD, both of which have extensive experience and successful intervention programs. GTSC will host the webinar and send out invitations through their network, we will also invite all POC’s.

  • Marijuana Legislation/Law Enforcement Issues (Joe/All).

Chief Sinagra has had meetings with industry leadership concerning significant issues with the legislation, specifically the law does adequately address possession of 3 ounces or less by a person under the age of 21. Likewise, there are significant concerns of underage possession while operating a motor vehicle. On-going research by Chief Sinagra includes working on the possibility of creating local laws that address these and other related issues. Chief Sinagra will invite local and state industry reps to address the TSC at a future meeting.

New Business:

  • Listing Additional Driver Information on Driver’s License (Bill)

Bill had initial discussions with DMV regarding adding demographic information on the license. At this time there is little interest in modifying the license. NYSACOP’s position is if the State wants to collect specific traffic stop demographic information it should be populated on the license as to avoid unnecessary questions and potential conflicts. Bill will continue to be the point person on this issue.

  • DRE/ARIDE/SFST Training (Mike)

GTSC has scheduled several ARIDE classes and occasional DRE classes throughout the State. The demand by our members for this training appears to being met at this time. Should we determine that additional classes are needed we can schedule training ourselves with certified instructors. While we do not need approval from GTSC or the IACP in advance of hosting an ARIDE or DRE training class, we believe that open communications and appropriate planning with both of these agencies is critical for successful outcomes.
A related question was raised concerning the location of DRE certifications. Typically, the final certification phase is conducted out of State, usually in Maricopa County, AZ. The TSC is asking if there are any sites in NYS where the training could be conducted. Mike and Bill will follow-up with GTSC to discuss this issue.

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

Discussion regarding the on-going public/media negative sentiments and legislative actions towards reducing and/or eliminating traffic safety enforcement. Many communities and governmental leaders are suggesting that traffic stops should not be conducted by the police but rather handled through automated enforcement or by non-sworn personnel. The TSC strongly opposes this movement and the published rhetoric.

  • Review of Proposed Traffic Safety Session at NYSACOP Annual Conference (All)

The Traffic Safety session will be on Tuesday, July 27 @3:30pm. Bill recommended the title of the session “Member-driven issues”. Suggested panelists: Asst. Commissioner Chuck DeWeese, Director of GTSC, to discuss statewide traffic safety issues/data. Chief Steven Casstevens, Buffalo Grove, IL PD, and immediate Past President of the IACP to discuss traffic issues from a national perspective. Captain Jeff Rinaldo, Buffalo PD to discuss Buffalo’s enforcement approach to street dirt bikes/atv’s. Mary Tanner-Richter, Albany County DA and NYS TSRP, to discuss enforcement / prosecution of the new marihuana legislation and how it pertains to operating a motor vehicle. All TSC members support the recommendations. The panel as noted will be suggested to the Conference planning committee.

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

Bill requested all TSC members to consider and suggest traffic related topics for future Chronicle and Chiefly Speaking publications and NYSACOP produced podcasts.

  • June 10th TSC (in-person) Meeting - Guests and Invitation to Dinner

Details regarding the meeting is below in follow-up activities. All TSC members have been invited to the Board dinner on June 10, location TBD.

  • Updates on Traffic Safety Enforcement Activities and Training Courses (Bill & Mike)

Mike and Bill have had on-going discussion with GTSC regarding the possibility of combining training topics into 1-2 day courses versus single trainings on multiple days. Example, combine motorcycle, commercial vehicles and specialty vehicles into one class versus three separate days. This effort will reduce travel / training costs and may increase interest and support by our members. The TSC endorses this concept, as such we will continue planning discussions with GTSC.

Additionally, Chief Denz suggested that we consider training specific to commercial trailers, an example given of use is local landscapers and light construction companies. There is a need to verify and train officers on V & T sections as it pertains to this equipment.

Follow-up Activities/Assignments:

  • TSC Meeting Alignment with Traffic Safety Partners (Mike/All)

We have been discussing this for several months. Our first in-person meeting is an opportunity to invite our external partners. With no objections Mike will invite GTSC, NHTSA, IACP and others deemed appropriate. We will not ask for guest presentations but rather have an open roundtable dialogue. Guest presentations will be considered for future meetings,

Other

Chief Sinagra is attending an upcoming conference call with Dave Holland and Ruben Lindo from the Hudson Valley Cannabis Industry Association and The New York City Cannabis Industry Association. The call will take place on May 11 @9:30am, all members are invited. The Chief will evaluate the information discussed during the call and consider inviting the reps to a future TSC meeting.
 Date of Next Meeting: To coincide with the NYSACOP Finance and Board Meetings,
Thursday, June 10th, 9:00 A.M - !2:30 P.M., in-person at the Comfort Inn, 981 Loudon Rd, Latham, N.Y.

Adjourn:  Motion to adjourn by Chief Denz, 2nd by Chief Sinagra, Meeting adjourned @12:05pm

 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.