Click here to download the Ontario County 2016 Annual Report.
Click here to download the Ontario County 2016 3rd Quarter Newsletter.
Click here to download the Ontario County 2016 2nd Quarter Newsletter.
Click here to download the Ontario County 2016 1st Quarter Newsletter.
Click here to download the Ontario County 2015 Annual Report.
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All Victim Impact Panels are held at the Ontario County Safety Training Facility on Monday evenings. Attendees should arrive between 6:15pm and 6:55pm- NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO ENTER AFTER 7:00pm. Panels end by 8:30pm.
Please contact the Ontario County STOP-DWI with any questions at 585-396-4308.
Follow this link to view the story: http://www.rochesterfirst.com/news/local-news/ontario-county-sheriffs-office-teams-up-with-stop-dwi#.WDMqDsO4rj5.mailto
Ontario County Deputies are getting ready for Thanksgiving a little early this year. The department is teaming with the group, "Stop DWI" to brush up on field sobriety tests, ahead of what they say could be one of the busiest holiday weeks of the year. The tests are field sobriety checks, known to law enforcement as the horizontal gaze and stagmus, the walk and turn test, and the one-legged stance.
Deputy Dana Egburtson says there are 'cues' they give during each test, and that a driver can only miss a few before they fail.
Suzanne Cirencione, Administrator of the Ontario County STOP-DWI Program presented at the New York Highway Safety Annual Fall Symposium in Lake Placid. She co-presented with Sarah Palermo, President of Rochester Against Intoxicated Drivers on the topic: Gender Specific Victim Impact Panels - Credible or Coddling? The session was a discussions on the benefits of gender specific Victim Impact Panels. The history, research and benefits discovered by separating the sexes was discussed.
2017 TRAFFIC SAFETY BOARD MEETING DATES
February 8, 2017 10am
April 12, 2017 10am
June 14, 2017 10am
August 9, 2017 10am- “Summer Meeting”
October 11, 2017 10am
December 13, 2017 10am
ALL MEETINGS WILL BE HELD AT THE ONTARIO COUNTY SAFETY TRAINING BUILDING UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED!
Ontario County Sheriff's Lieutenant David Cirencione, Deputy Dustin Henninger and Sgt. Jamie Alexander (left to right) celebrate Henninger being named Top Cop second quarter 2016. MELODY BURRI/MESSENGER POST MEDIA
HOPEWELL — Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo smiles when he hears the question: “This isn’t Ontario County, is it?”
It’s what many people first ask, he’s told, when they’re pulled over for allegedly driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or for allegedly buying or selling drugs. Members of the Ontario County Traffic Safety Board smile too, along with a battalion of Ontario County sheriff’s deputies and Canandaigua City Police. Why? Because word’s getting out that Ontario County’s dead serious about the problem of drunk driving and drug-impaired driving. The county’s 25-member Traffic Safety Board, in partnership with Ontario County Stop-DWI, held its summer meeting Aug. 10 at the Ontario County Safety Training Facility to celebrate this and other triumphs and goals for the future. Forty attendees at the morning meeting applauded as Tantillo brought more good news about the county’s DWI conviction rate in 2015.
“Ontario County had the highest conviction rate in New York state out of the 62 counties by a wide margin,” said Tantillo. “Our conviction rate was 93.39 percent, and the next highest county was 79 percent.”
Ontario County has ranked number one for 31 of the last 32 years, he said. And that impact has spread beyond county borders.
“There’s a friendly competition in the Finger Lakes among the DA’s offices in all the other area counties,” Tantillo said. “(They’ve) obviously seen a value in taking a tough position on DWIs, so Wayne County, Yates County and Seneca County have historically done very well. In 2015, four out of the top five counties in terms of conviction rates were Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates. This is by far the safest region in the state of New York in terms of enforcing DWI laws.”
And better news still regarding drug-impaired (DWAI drugs) driving — in 2015 alone, Ontario County logged 96 convictions.
“Although we are the 27th largest county in the state, that was the fourth highest total of DWAI convictions,” said Tantillo. “So that shows that the officers in our county are extremely adept at identifying who is driving under the influence of drugs.
“We’ve shown that when our DREs (drug recognition experts) are put on the road in our county, they get results,” he said. “They’ve made arrests, which have turned into convictions. That’s a testimony to the quality of law enforcement officers in this county.”
DWI enforcement is strongly emphasized when new officers are trained, Tantillo said. That includes training new officers for court appearances.
“A lot of them have a little bit of trepidation about appearing in court and testifying,” he said. “So we put on mock trials for them where they can experience what a rigorous cross-examination would be like, and try to improve their comfort zone. It works really well.”
Officers from other counties who make arrests in Ontario County testify before the Grand Jury, and will often indicate they've never testified before, Tantillo said.
“This is mind-boggling to us," he said. "The officers in this county testify constantly in county court, town court, Grand Jury,” he said. “And it helps. They’re much more polished and persuasive and confident. I think that comes from experience.”
Drug arrests are where Ontario County particularly excels, said Tantillo.
“A lot of officers in other counties don’t do drug arrests because they’re unsure of themselves,” he said. “(Our) men and women have been really trained very thoroughly. How else do you explain the fourth highest number of drunk driving convictions in the state for a county our size? It’s got to be because of great work by these cops.”
One such officer who received top honors Aug. 10 was Ontario County Sheriff’s Deputy Dustin Henninger, who received the Stop-DWI Top Cop for second quarter 2016.
“The number and quality of his investigations and arrests are top notch,” said Lieutenant David Cirencione to OCTSB members and attendees. “In just the second quarter of 2016, he made 11 arrests for DWI or DWAI drugs.”
Also on Aug. 10, David Adam, past president of the New York State Association for Pupil Transportation, presented OCTSB with the Law Enforcement Partner of the Year award. It acknowledged efforts to promote school bus safety and to educate the the public about illegal passing. OCTSB invested local program funds in a television ad campaign informing the public about the requirement to stop for stopped school buses, Adam said.
“They made us — our kids — their priority, and for that we are grateful,” he said.
The video will appear in September on the Stop-DWI Facebook page, said Stop-DWI Director Sue Cirencione.
Capping off the summer meeting was keynote speaker Sarah Palermo, one of Ontario County’s most powerful Victim Impact Panel speakers. She's powerful for a reason.
Palermo recounted the events of Saturday, Oct. 18, 2003, when Danny Hopkins, a driver impaired by cocaine and alcohol, slammed into a blue Dodge Neon at 106 miles per hour on the Ford Street Bridge in Rochester. Her daughter, 26-year-old Lindsay Ann Kyle, was the driver of that blue Dodge Neon who was killed as her fiance watched from another vehicle.
Hopkins was so impaired, Palermo said, that after the crash he got out of his vehicle unscathed, glanced at the carnage he had caused, and walked three blocks home and went to bed.
Lindsay never got to marry the man she loved, experience the wedding she was planning, enjoy the career she was starting, and hold the children she hoped to have, Palermo said.
Though she can’t bring Lindsay back, Palermo can make sure DWI offenders understand the cost others may pay because of their choices.
“Drunk driving is living every day without a person you love because someone decided to drink and put their key in the ignition,” Palermo tells offenders. “Drunk driving is trying to carry on with your life, and inside, just wanting to curl up and stop living. Drunk driving is seeing your daughter’s body in the morgue.”
More than 10,000 people are killed each year by drunk driving, Palermo told attendees on Aug. 10.
“I’d like to introduce you to Lindsay,” she said before showing a video of images from Lindsay's birth through adulthood, ending with crash photos taken at the Ford Street bridge intersection on Oct 19, 2003.
“Foolish, dangerous, criminal behavior has real-world consequences,” said Tantillo. “Stop DWI’s mission is not just enforcement, it’s about prevention, treatment, probation, enforcement, prosecution, public relations, education.”
“Everything we presented today was because of our commitment to traffic safety,” said Stop-DWI's Sue Cirencione. “This is why we do what we do.”