Troopers on Patrol
On the morning of April 15, 2016, Trooper Stephen J. Kosowski, SP Batavia, was dispatched to investigate a missing 75-year-old man with dementia. Troopers Eric J. Daigler and James P. Moran, SP Batavia, responded to assist. Their initial interview of the man's wife at his residence in Bethany revealed that the man had left by car the previous morning. He had been in regular contact with his wife, but was lost and confused. He stated that he had not had anything to eat or drink since he had left about 24 hours earlier. Trooper Kosowski immediately contacted Genesee County dispatch and obtained a ping of the man's phone, which showed him to be in Wayne County. Trooper Allan M. Bernhardt, SP Williamson, and Trooper Thomas J. Connor, SP Wolcott, were advised and began to search.
Cell phone contact was made with the missing man, but he refused to stop or accurately provide his location to the troopers or his wife and daughter. A File 6 was entered by Communications Specialist James R. Miller, SP Batavia. Multiple pings showed the man traveling east, but the pings were unable to provide a precise location. The man sometimes provided location information, but it was unreliable and he continued to move.
Eventually the man advised his daughter he had run out of gas in Onondaga County. Concerns over the possibility of dehydration were increased when the man said he would not leave his car to ask for help because he had soiled himself. Sergeant/SC Daniel J. Hollands, SP Batavia, made contact with Sergeant Christopher M. Vincentini, SP Lysander, establishing a line of communication to provide timely information to the searchers in Onondaga County. Sergeant Vincentini spearheaded the Onondaga County search effort, involving multiple troopers and local law enforcement.
Verizon obtained a high confidence precision ping and the location was relayed to Sergeant Vincentini. Just as the situation seemed to be coming to a close, the man advised his daughter he was moving again. At this point it was past 3:00 PM, and the search had gone on for the better part of the day. In addition to health concerns, the battery on the man's phone was low. Finally, the searchers' efforts paid off. At approximately 3:30 PM, the man was located by the Town of Dewitt Police Department and turned over to responding troopers. He was transported to the hospital by ambulance for evaluation and his family was able to meet him there.
The end result of a nearly day-long effort involving law enforcement and dispatch centers from Troops A, E, and D, was a man being successfully and safely reunited with his family. NYSP, local law enforcement, dispatchers, and EMS worked together to bring the search to a successful conclusion. Everyone involved should be proud of their combined efforts which may have saved a life and are in keeping with the finest traditions of public service.
On March 22, 2016, Trooper Henry W. Esche III, SP Marcy, received a call of a hit and run property damage accident that occurred in the parking lot of the Town of Bridgewater Court. Trooper Esche's initial investigation revealed that the reporting person's car was parked unattended in the court parking lot, and when she returned to her vehicle from court she observed damage to the left rear door area. Trooper Esche observed that the damage appeared to be fresh, and he also noticed a blue scuff mark around the damaged area. He reviewed the court's security camera, but it did not record the area where the accident occurred. However, the recording did show a blue Chevrolet HHR leaving the parking lot. Trooper Esche spoke with the Judge regarding the incident, but was not able to come up with any leads on the owner/driver of the vehicle.
Trooper Esche conducted follow-up interviews and checked with local body shops with negative results. On April 14, 2016, while on patrol, Trooper Esche observed a 2008 blue Chevrolet HHR at the local gas station in the town of Bridgewater. Further inspection revealed that the car had damage to the rear bumper. Trooper Esche interviewed the female operator, who could not account for the damage and denied being at the court the night of the incident. Trooper Esche responded to the court and interviewed the clerk. He discovered the female operator had lied to him and that she had been at the court on March 22 with her son, and had in fact signed paperwork regarding her son. Trooper Esche confronted the female operator with this information and she admitted to being at the court that night, but stated she did not realize that she had backed into another vehicle. Trooper Esche issued the operator UTT's for unsafe backing and leaving the scene of a property damage accident.
Trooper Esche received a complaint of a minor hit and run property accident and developed a lead from his initial investigation. He did not initially get any results from this lead, but weeks later he observed a possible suspect vehicle and was able to solve the case. Even though this may be considered a minor investigation, the results from Trooper Esche's investigation and efforts demonstrated quality customer service.
To the members involved in these cases, congratulations on jobs well done. To them, and all our Troopers on Patrol, keep up the tradition.