Dutchess Top Cops

(Craig Wolf/Poughkeepsie Journal) – Dec. 10, 2014

Hill addressed a roomful of police officers gathered for the annual Law Enforcement Award Ceremony sponsored by the Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program. It was the 20th such event, and this one was at the college.

Hill analyzed the number of arrests for driving while intoxicated, DWI, or driving while ability impaired, DWAI, and compared that to the county population to get a ratio, and he found that the local counties led the state.

Hill gave details on the ignition interlock device program in Dutchess, in which judges give convicted drivers a discharge with the condition that they use such a device. They prevent a car from starting if the person blowing into the device has more than 0.025 percent blood alcohol content.

There are about 300 drivers in Dutchess in the monitoring program now, and 120 of them have interlocks on their cars. While about 30 percent of people statewide who are told to install such a device actually do, the rest mostly say they no longer have a car or in many cases, disappear from view.

Ten police officers were honored for their outstanding work in making arrests for driving while intoxicated and related offenses.

The top award, the chairman's Award of Excellence, went to Deputy Neil A. Stuart of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office, who in 2014 made 113 impaired driving arrests. He is the county's full-time STOP-DWI officer.

Others were Troopers Michael Patterson and Michael Bayer of the state police; Deputy Evan Traudt and Lt. Frank LaMonica of the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office; Officer Travis Sterritt of Red Hook village police; Officer Gregory Drobot of the Town of Poughkeepsie police; Officer Edward Fenichel of the City of Poughkeepsie police; Officer Brian Smith of Wappingers Falls police; and Officer Joseph Wasilewski of the Town of Hyde Park police.