Twenty-three Suffolk County police officers were honored Tuesday at the Suffolk County Police Academy for making the most DWI arrests last year.
County Executive Bellone, Chief Burke and Suffolk County Stop DWI representatives recognized the officers. Officials also awarded Timothy Murphy of the Riverhead Police Department with the Top Cop award after he made 118 arrests last year.
“It is extremely important to us that motorists who are driving while intoxicated are stopped,” Bellone said at the ceremony. “DWI tragedies don’t just affect those involved, they impact the families of victims as well.”
Suffolk County police agencies made over 5692 arrests in 2013 and more than 15,000 DWI arrests in the past three years, officials said.
In 2013, 51 people were killed in Suffolk County by the reckless behavior of drunk drivers as compared to 47 the previous year. Although, DWI fatalities have declined by 56 percent since 1979, county official said they recognize that many challenges remain and say they continue to be vigilant.
Bellone said the county would not "tolerate drunk driving on our roadways. We remain committed to arresting anyone who chooses to drink and then get behind the wheel of a car, endangering the lives of others.”
The following officers were honored:
- Village of Amityville Joseph Slack
- Village of East Hampton Steven Niggles
- Village of Northport Micheael Gigante
- Village of Quogue John Galvin
- Village of Southampton Sashley Jones
- Village of Westhampton Steven McManus
- Town of East Hampton Vincent Ratinella
- Town of Riverhead Timothy Murphy
- Town of Shelter Island Christopher Drake
- Town of Southampton Carl Schottenhamel
- Town of Southold Rory Flatley
- New York State Michael P. Grosso
- Suffolk County Parks Greg Sandbichler
- Suffolk County Sheriff Brian Rasiak
- SCPD 1st Precinct David Leath
- SCPD 2nd Precinct Harry Jos
- SCPD 3rd Precinct Chris Anskat
- SCPD 4th Precinct Doug Nassisi
- SCPD 5th Precinct Jamie Bustamante
- SCPD 6th Precinct Anthony Legotti
- SCPD 7th Precinct Brandon Neal
- SCPD Highway Patrol William Murray
- SCPD SAFE-T Team Roger Kleber
The Special Traffic Options Program for Driving While Intoxicated (STOP-DWI) is a comprehensive program specifically designed to reduce the incidence of alcohol-related traffic fatalities and injuries in New York State, authorities said. The program is supported by the fines collected from individuals convicted of alcohol-related traffic infractions.
Officials said STOP-DWI will continue to work toward the reduction of drinking and driving in Suffolk through its support of increased enforcement, swift and certain prosecution, sound and cost effective rehabilitation, tough probation, and public information and education campaigns.