Mothers Against Drunk Driving New York, STOP-DWI Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Honors Law Enforcement

 

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) New York, STOP–DWI and The Governor’s Traffic
Safety Committee hosted their Annual Law Enforcement Recognition Event on Tuesday, April 5, 2022 at the
Crowne Plaza – The Desmond Hotel in Albany, NY. This event served as an opportunity to recognize and honor the
great work of Law Enforcement professionals and their Law Enforcement agencies from New York who have
shown outstanding dedication to DWI enforcement, prosecution, and education in 2021. Over 100 awards were
distributed and over 250 individuals were in attendance to recognize and thank those who are working so hard to
keep our streets safe from the horrors of drunk and drugged driving.

Several Lifetime Achievement Awards were distributed, as well as the first ever Maureen McCormick Leader of
Excellence Award. These awards recognize the contribution for the lifetime commitment to keeping the roads of
New York safe and for protecting our communities from the 100% preventable crimes of impaired driving.
The first ever Maureen McCormick Leader of Excellence Award was presented to Maureen McCormick who
throughout her career has been a leader in the fight against impaired driving in New York State. Ms. McCormick
was a member of the Nassau County District Attorney Office under Kathleen Rice, Madeline Singas and Joyce
Smith. Maureen was lastly an Executive Assistant District Attorney for Major Cases, Intergovernmental and
Community Relations. In 2006 Ms. McCormick founded the Vehicular Crimes Bureau in Nassau County after
spending almost 20 years in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office where she began her career. She is trained
in Collision Reconstruction, Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Crash Data Retrieval. Ms. McCormick created
the award-winning “Choices and Consequences” Program which has educated more than 250,000 high school
students about drunk, drugged, and reckless driving. She lectures to various law enforcement agencies,
prosecutors, and hospital associations. She is a member of several traffic safety and legislative committees and is
also a contributing author of the New York State DWI Trial Manual and the Vehicular Homicide Manual.
Throughout her career, Ms. McCormick continued to try high profile vehicular crimes cases. She successfully
argued two DWI depraved murder cases before the Court of Appeals. She is a member of the New York State
Impaired Driving Advisory Council and helped draft statewide legislation and regulatory changes including the
Aggravated Vehicular Homicide and Assault statutes, Leandra’s Law, Jack Shea’s Law and the Nassau County Social
Host law. Ms. McCormick is the recipient of several awards including a MADD Lifetime Achievement award, the
William T. Smith Award for Legislation, the NHTSA Public Service Award, the National Traffic Safety Award for
Prosecutors and New York State Prosecutor of the Year. Ms. McCormick is currently the Special Assistant for
Legislative Initiatives at Suffolk County DA.
Lifetime Achievement Recipients
Sergeant Patrick Detwiler – Suffolk County Police Department
Sergeant Detwiler began his law enforcement career over forty years ago and has been committed to keeping the
roadways of New York State safe from impaired drivers ever since. His efforts began in 1982 as an NYPD Highway
Patrol officer patrolling the highways of New York City and culminated with his assignment as the Commanding
Officer of the SCPD Highway Patrol Selective Alcohol Fatality Enforcement (SAFE) Team in 2011, a position he has
held for the past eleven years. The Safe Team is a full time DWI/DWAI enforcement unit comprised of nine police
officers assigned to targeted areas of Suffolk County. The team also conducts high profile sobriety checkpoints
and saturation patrols on major holiday weekends throughout the year. Members are extensively trained in DWI
detection, SFSTs, ARIDE. Most members are certified SFST instructors and Drug Recognition Experts, who are
typically called to the scene of serious motor vehicle crashes to evaluate operators and to assist detectives in any
arrest and follow-up prosecution of impaired drivers. Under Sergeant Detwiler’s leadership, the SAFE Team has
made well over 6,000 arrests for DWI/DWAI, seized several hundred vehicles driven by recidivist offenders, and
conducted over 50 sobriety checkpoints with active participation by volunteers from MADD. Personal “ridealongs” conducted by Sergeant Detwiler with members of the media resulted in the broad dissemination of the
ongoing proactive DWI enforcement efforts of his team. During his tenure, the SAFE Team has also provided
thousands of hours of training related to DWI enforcement to police officers throughout New York State. In
addition to supervising the SAFE Team, with its various enforcement and training components, Sergeant Detwiler
has been a member of the MADD Law Enforcement and Advisory Committees for the past2 eleven years, providing
counsel and support to MADD in furtherance of its mission.
Deputy Joshua VanSkiver – Steuben County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy VanSkiver has exceeded 3,000 career DWI/DWAI arrests during his 17-year career. He has received the
MADD/Stop DWI Individual Recognition Award 11 times. Deputy VanSkiver has accounted for approximately half
of the SCSO DWI/DWAI arrests since 2018, as a member of the Stop DWI Enforcement Unit. He is a BAO Instructor
and an SFST Instructor. Deputy VanSkiver is a well-respected and engaging speaker, who the spreads the Stop DWI
message regionally, through presentations and impact panels. What makes Deputy VanSkiver such an engaging
and respected speaker is the perspective he shares, not only as a law enforcement officer, but as someone who
has lost a loved one, his sister in 2014, to a drunk driver. Deputy VanSkiver’s impact is immeasurable. His effort
has undoubtedly saved lives. Deputy VanSkiver’s motivation has been an example to the younger members of this
agency and has fostered an increased importance in the role of enforcement in preventing tragedy. Since his
arrival, the Sheriff’s Office has increased DWI/DWAI arrests by over 100%.
Retired Police Officer Samuel Ferrandino – Nassau County Police Department
Police Officer Samuel Ferrandino joined the New York City Police Department in 2001. In his 3 years with the
NYPD, he made 51 DWI arrests before joining the Nassau County Police Department in 2004. It was evident early
on in his career that Police Officer Ferrandino was passionate about enforcing New York State DWI laws. He was
on patrol for 15 years, working in the 1st Precinct and the Highway Patrol Bureau. During that time, he made 1,030
DWI arrests with 231 assists. Police Officer Ferrandino was trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST),
Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and was a Certified Breath Tech. In 2018 Ferrandino
joined the Central Testing Section bringing his knowledge and training into the unit. From 2018 to 2021 he
conducted 512 breath tests and became a major asset to our team. Ferrandino wanted to finish his police career
the way it started, volunteering to go back out on patrol to take part in our DWI enforcement program. Police
Officer Ferrandino made 15 DWI arrests before retiring in July 2021. For 20 years Ferrandino was a major factor
in protecting our citizens and made it his mission to take DWI offenders off the streets of Nassau County.
Retired Police Officer Albert Samuel Weech – Rochester Police Department
Officer Weech has been dedicated to the STOP-DWI program for many, many years and plays a vital role in
enforcement for the Rochester Police Department. Officer Weech recently retired after 20 years of service. He
has amassed over 3,000 DWI (impairment) arrests over his career and is well known for his dedication. He is also
a DRE and has completed numerous DRE evaluations. He is a DWI instructor at the Monroe County Public Safety
Training Center and has taught countless new Police Officers impairment training.
In addition to our Leader of Excellence and Lifetime Achievement Awards, we presented awards in the following
categories: 2021 Top State Arresting Officer, Recognition of Excellence – DRE Enforcement Awards, Recognition of
Excellence Awards, Impaired Driving Enforcement Unit Recognition Awards, Department of the Year Awards. The
recipients of these awards represent departments and agencies from across New York State.
Our Law Enforcement keeps us safe in many ways, including on the roadways. They put themselves in danger on
a daily basis – and some pay the ultimate price. Forty-four percent of the officers killed in the line of duty were
killed in traffic crashes. That’s why we support these heroes who keep our roads safe not just today but every day.
Congratulations to all the recipients!
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About Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving®
(MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the
victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives,
reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD has
provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge
through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Learn more at
www.madd.org/ny.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving New York, STOP-DWI Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee Honors Law Enforcement