STOP-DWI Awards Honor Local “TOP COPS”

POUGHKEEPSIE – The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board honored eight law enforcement officers as “TOP COPS” at the 24th Annual Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon held recently at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in the City of Poughkeepsie. The event honors police officers from throughout Dutchess County for their enforcement efforts in the detection and apprehension of impaired drivers in support of the STOP-DWI Program’s mission to deter drunk/drugged driving.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “The annual STOP-DWI Program Law Enforcement Awards ceremony helps spread awareness of our concerted education and enforcement efforts to eliminate impaired driving within Dutchess County. These awards serve as a reminder of the level of commitment of the dedicated men and women of law enforcement who serve our residents tirelessly and keep our roads as safe as possible. We are proud to recognize these individuals and thank them for their service to our community.”
2018 “TOP COP” Award Winners

Investigator Steven M. Schmoke New York State Police Troop K (Poughkeepsie); Trooper Cody J. Vetter New York State Police Troop K (Lagrange); Deputy Sheriff Justin Bogdanffy Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office; Deputy Sheriff Stephen Sansoni Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office; Police Officer Travis Sterritt Village of Red Hook; Police Police Officer Tyler Hoag City of Poughkeepsie; Police Police Officer Michael Veeder Village of Millerton; Police Probation Officer Ashley Pilla Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections.

This was the first year the STOP-DWI Planning Board included a Probation Officer in its awards program to recognize those who go above and beyond their typical duties to further the STOP-DWI mission. Probation Officer Ashley Pilla from the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections was honored for her contributions to impaired driving enforcement efforts. Ms. Pilla is part of the DWI Unit and is assigned to the STOP-DWI caseload. In addition to her typical duties, she has proactively supervised numerous probationers deemed high-risk to re-offend both among her cases and in others and has established a close working relationship with the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office. This year, her diligent work has facilitated the ticketing and/or arrest of 10 repeat offenders for various Vehicle and Traffic Law (VTL) offenses, including Aggravated Unlicensed Operation (AUO) and Ignition Interlock Device (IID) violations. Ms. Pilla strives to hold offenders accountable for their behavior while effectively guiding them to make positive life changes as an Intoxicated Driver Program (IDP) Instructor and a Credentialed Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Counselor (CASAC).

The event also highlighted the start of the annual “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign, which runs from Wednesday, November 21st through Sunday, November 25th, with law enforcement agencies participating in a county-wide program to catch impaired drivers this holiday season. The “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign includes coordinated, multi-jurisdictional sobriety checkpoints and targeted saturation patrols throughout Dutchess County and includes the assignment of Drug Recognition Experts to assist in the identification and apprehension of those impaired by drugs other than alcohol.

Motorists who encounter what they suspect is an impaired driver should call 9-1-1 with a description of the vehicle, location and direction of travel. The enforcement effort is administered by the Dutchess County STOP-DWI program through grant funding awarded from the NYS STOP-DWI Foundation.

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