The State Troopers PBA supports its members in a wide variety of ways, including participating in news interviews with various media outlets. PBA Troop E Delegate Vince Hill was interviewed by Channel 10 News in Rochester regarding a case in which a judge ruled a Trooper’s search was unlawful.
The case stemmed from a traffic stop along I-390 made by Trooper David Bernacki, who noticed an expired inspection sticker on a vehicle. While waiting for a tow truck to arrive, Bernacki called for backup to assist in transporting the three occupants of the vehicle to the next exit, since it is illegal for pedestrians to walk along the interstate. Trooper Larry LaRose arrived on the scene. To ensure the safety of the Troopers in the patrol vehicles as they rode with the three occupants, Trooper LaRose searched one of the occupants before allowing him in a patrol vehicle. During the search, LaRose reportedly discovered 60 grams of crack cocaine in the shoe of one of the individuals.
A judge has ruled the search was unlawful, and the case is now headed for Appellate Court.
In the video clip on Channel 10’s web site, Delegate Vince Hill explains the importance of officer safety, especially in the wake of the murder of Trooper Andrew J. Sperr on March 1. Sperr, who was unaware that a robbery had taken place shortly beforehand, initiated a traffic stop and was murdered during a gun battle with the occupants of the vehicle he had pulled over. The occupants were also allegedly involved with that robbery.
The PBA praises the work of Troopers Bernacki and LaRose, who can be seen on the video clip as acting professionally, courteously and in the best interest of public and officer safety. The PBA also commends Livingston County District Attorney Tom Moran, who understands the law and supports the actions of the Troopers.
To review the story on Channel 10’s web site and view the video clip, click on the link below.