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25th Annual STOP-DWI Law Enforcement Awards Honor Local “TOP COPS”
Thanksgiving crackdown on impaired drivers takes place Nov. 27-Dec. 1

Published: 11/20/2019

For More Information Contact:

William Johnson, STOP-DWI Coordinator

(845) 486-3603

Poughkeepsie… The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board honored seven law enforcement officers as “TOP COPS” at the 25th Annual Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon held today at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in the City of Poughkeepsie. The event honors police officers from throughout Dutchess County for their enforcement efforts in the detection and apprehension of impaired drivers in support of the STOP-DWI Program’s mission to deter drunk/drugged driving.

Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, “Throughout Dutchess County, dedicated men and women in law enforcement toil to keep our roadways safe for all motorists, and the annual STOP-DWI Program Law Enforcement Awards ceremony continues to honor these selfless public servants while spreading awareness about their mission. We proudly thank these officers for their tireless resolve to protect their neighbors and rid our community of impaired drivers.”

The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board honored seven law enforcement officers as “TOP COPS” at the 25th Annual Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon November 20th.

The Dutchess County STOP-DWI Planning Board honored seven law enforcement officers as “TOP COPS” at the 25th Annual Dutchess County STOP-DWI Program’s Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon held today at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel in the City of Poughkeepsie.

2019 “TOP COP” Award Winners

Trooper Cody J. Vetter, New York State Police Troop K (Lagrange)
Trooper Joseph Penniman, New York State Police Troop K (Poughkeepsie)
Deputy Sheriff Stephen Sansoni, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Sheriff Scott Sheppard, Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office
Police Officer Travis Sterritt, Village of Red Hook Police
Police Officer Richard Sisilli, Town of Poughkeepsie Police
Probation Officer Elizabeth Bobela, Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections

This is the second year the STOP-DWI Planning Board included a probation officer in its awards program to recognize those who go above and beyond their typical duties to further the STOP-DWI mission. Probation Officer Elizabeth Bobela from the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections was honored for her contributions to impaired driving enforcement efforts. Ms. Bobela has been with the Dutchess County Office of Probation and Community Corrections for nearly 20 years.  Probation Officer Bobela has worked with DWI offenders since 2012, first as the Senior Officer at the Intensive Treatment Alternative Program and then as the Supervisor of the DWI Unit since 2016. Throughout her career, she has displayed compassion, dedication and strong leadership in her work to deter alcohol- and drug-impaired driving. She has worked to hold offenders accountable for their behavior, while continuing to help them make positive pro-social changes in their lives.

Today’s event also highlighted the start of the annual “Thanksgiving Crackdown” campaign, which runs from Wednesday, November 27th through Sunday, December 1st, with law enforcement agencies participating in a county-wide program to catch impaired drivers this holiday season. 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 9-1-1 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.

Dutchess County STOP-DWI Coordinator William C. Johnson said, “Thanksgiving is a traditional time for gathering and celebrating our blessings, but if you choose to include alcohol in your celebrations, please arrange a safe ride home. There is no excuse for driving impaired nor the lives lost to such choices each year. If you drive drunk in Dutchess County during this holiday period, you will be arrested and prosecuted.”