21st Annual STOP-DWI Law Enforcement Awards Honor Dutchess County “TOP COPS”

Poughkeepsie… The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board today honored seven law enforcement officers as “TOP COPS” at the 21st Annual Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon held at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in the City of Poughkeepsie. The event honors police officers from throughout Dutchess County for their commitment and contributions to the STOP-DWI Program’s mission.

“These awards symbolize the dedication and vigilance our law enforcement officials continue to display to keep our local residents as safe as possible on the road – not just during the upcoming holiday season, but year-round,” County Legislator Kenneth Roman said. “While this ceremony rightly brings attention to the enforcement efforts around Dutchess County, we must remember we all share in the responsibility to keep our roadways safe, making decisions that don’t endanger other drivers or ourselves.”

STOP-DWI’s mission is to deter drunk/drugged driving through enhanced enforcement, prosecution, rehabilitation, and education services. The annual “TOP COP” awards honors officers for their strong enforcement efforts in the detection and apprehension of impaired drivers.

2015 “TOP COP” Award Winners

Law Enforcement Officer:                                  Law Enforcement Agency:

Trooper Ulysses Matsoukas                               New York State Police Troop K (Dover Plains)

Trooper Benjamin Sloat                                        New York State Police Troop K (Stormville)

Deputy Sheriff William Butler                                Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Lieutenant Frank LaMonica                                  Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

Police Officer Travis Sterritt                                   Village of Red Hook Police

Police Officer Richard Sisilli                                  Town of Poughkeepsie Police

Police Officer Michael Veeder                              Village of Millerton Police

Additionally, the New York State STOP-DWI Association recognized Dutchess County Sheriff’s Deputy Neil Stuart for his accomplishments achieved while assigned as the full-time STOP-DWI officer.

The event also highlighted the start of the annual “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign, which runs from Wednesday, November 25th through Sunday, November 29th, with law enforcement agencies across Dutchess County participating in a county-wide program to catch impaired drivers this holiday season.   The “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign is intended to discourage people from driving impaired, promote awareness, and keep the roadways safe.

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 911 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.

“Today’s event celebrates the brave law enforcement officers who protect our roads, but their efforts to rid Dutchess County of impaired drivers continue 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said. “Motorists who choose to drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs will be arrested – no excuses, no warnings – as Dutchess County simply does not tolerate one driver’s bad choices to adversely affect those with whom they share the road.”