Monroe County STOP-DWI in conjunction with Rochester Against Intoxicated Driving (RAID), held the 2016 "Lights on for Life" Motorcade on December 10. This year Monroe County was joined by Genesee, Livingston and Wayne Counties Sheriff's Office's with each supplying a vehicle for support. Over twenty-five vehicles participated in the Motorcade to raise awareness during National Drugged and Drunk Driving Awareness Month. Thank you to all agencies that were present.
Monroe County STOP-DWI Program coordinated our first annual Impaired Driving Victim/Survivor Retreat. Although this was a serious issue to discuss, the benefits of talking about the events in our lives and developing our resiliency skills met the needs of all attendee's. It was an awesome experience. The feedback from attendee's was positive and uplifting. Below is a photo of one of the exercises that we participated in during the day.
August 30th, was 2016 STOP-DWI Night at the Red Wings in Rochester. It was a beautiful evening and the weather was perfect. About ten volunteers showed up to distribute over fifteen hundred lanyards and cards to the game attendee's. STOP-DWI was grateful that seven victims/survivors volunteered to assemble and distribute the lanyards and cards. In addition, 14 Law Enforcement vehicles from three counties were at the game to support STOP-DWI Night. This included 9 Law Enforcement vehicles (Brighton, Fairport, Gates, Greece, Irondequoit, Monroe County Sheriff, NYS Troopers, Rochester, Webster) and Monroe County Probation from Monroe County. Livingston and Orleans County Sheriff's Offices. It was a sight to see all the lights from the vehicles across the outfield. Thank to everyone for making this evening a very special time to raise awareness to the impaired driving issue.
Monroe County STOP-DWI/MADD Luncheon Award Recipients. Two out of twelve of the Individual Law Enforcement Awards were presented to Officer Albert "Sam" Weech and Officer Joseph Bonacci of Rochester Police Department. Two of the five Law Enforcement Agency Awards were received by Monroe County Departments- Greece Police Department and Rochester Police Departments. Congratulations to all recipients for a job well done.
Laser Technology, Inc. recently donated an LTI 20/20 TruSpeed S laser at the Monroe County STOP DWI Conference to Officer Sam Weech of the Rochester Police Department (RPD) to show appreciation for his dedication to the safety of NY roadways. He has been working in law enforcement for a total of 14 years, 12 of those being with the Rochester Police Department.
Officer Weech was not immediately interested in pursuing a career in the police department and was originally aiming for an FBI position. He wanted to apply to the FBI with law enforcement experience, so he took the required test and was hired by the RPD in 2002, beginning his career in law enforcement. Over the years, Officer Weech realized he enjoyed the department so much that he decided to end his pursuit for an FBI career to stay with the RPD.
It took Officer Weech a short amount of time to learn the ropes and patrol the locations where drunk driving was a growing issue. Things only took off from there. Officer Weech became certified in field sobriety testing right away in 2004, a DWI instructor in 2010, and a breath test operator instructor and drug recognition expert in 2011. Over the years, he became motivated to protect the streets from distracted drivers because of his experience with alcohol-related injuries and crashes.
Between July 9, 2015 and December 31, 2015, Officer Weech had arrested 167 individuals for driving while impaired! Because of his expertise, other officers in the department will even turn over suspected drivers to Officer Weech for DWI investigation. Although he is glad to get violators off the streets, he hopes to see these numbers decrease in the future.
When Officer Weech is not on patrol, he enjoys meeting with the victims of impaired drivers and helping them through their tragedy. He also encourages them and stands by their side during the Victim Impact Panel, where they speak about losses caused by impaired and distracted drivers. Officer Weech plans to continue to get impaired and distracted drivers off the streets to ensure the community does not lose any more citizens in tragic accidents.
Laser Technology, Inc. appreciates the example Officer Sam Weech created in his community and is proud to recognize his service. LTI is honored to have donated a TruSpeed S laser to him so he can continue his efforts combating impaired and distracted driving.