Technical Sergeant Terence J. McDonnell, New York State Police

Relying heavily on his unique blend of analytical skills, creativity and initiative, Technical Sergeant Terence J. McDonnell, through the establishment and promotion of the Buckle Up New York campaign, succeeded in raising seatbelt use in New York Sate from less than 75 percent in May 1999 to nearly 85 percent by the end of 1999.

 

Sergeant McDonnell was an original architect and principle promoter of a monumental effort to increase safety restraint use in New York State called Buckle Up New York. His insightful research, creativity and tireless effort enabled the campaign to grow from simply a good idea in 1998 to one of the most successful highway safety programs in New York State history by the end of 1999.

 

The services provided by Sergeant McDonnell in terms of promotion and publicity for the program were outstanding especially considering his efforts had to be accomplished in conjunction with his regular traffic safety duties. During the past year, Sergeant McDonnell:

 

  • Researched the safety restraint issue and its impact on highway safety in New York State and worked with State Police commanders to devise the Buckle Up New York strategy.
  • Personally created the campaign logo and layouts for all campaign materials.
  • Wrote all press releases and numerous newspaper articles and arranged for appropriate media coverage.
  • Wrote, directed and marketed public service announcements for increased awareness.
  • Wrote the highway safety grants which support the effort, continues to manage those grants.
  • Secured the cooperation of law enforcement agencies and other highway safety organizations by travelling throughout the state promoting the campaign.
  • Established numerous private sector partnerships.
  • Facilitated the Diversity Forum and continues to develop strategies to reach minority communities.
  • Promotes the use of safety restraints among youth by serving as a mentor while off duty.

 

Master Police Officer James David Bean, Fairfax County, VA, Police Department

MPO Dave Bean was selected for his career-spanning dedication to and accomplishment of the highest in traffic safety programs and standards, specifically traffic crash investigation and reconstruction.

 

MPO Bean was hired by the Fairfax County, VA Police Department in 1978. By 1985, he had established himself as an expert witness in court in crash reconstruction and in 1986 was permanently assigned to the department's Accident Reconstruction Section. Since that time, MPO Bean has taken his vast knowledge of collision analysis and gone the extra mile to assist the working police officer. He takes a proactive role in training at accident scenes and is always willing to answer questions. He is described as a self-starter, an avid reader and perpetually seeks emerging technology to improve the efficiency and accuracy of accident investigation. He is distinguished by his humility, compassion for victims and perseverance in the just resolution of all accident investigations.

 

MPO Bean's notable career accomplishments include the following:

 

  • Early recognition of a dangerous design flaw with the rear door hatch in Chrysler minivans in 1993. His observation led to a worldwide recall of that design and likely saved many lives.
  • The painstaking reconstruction of an officer-involved accident in which the officer was initially charged, but ultimately exonerated due to MPO Bean's efforts.
  • Testimony before the Virginia State Legislature to modify the manslaughter statue in respect to DWI; the law was changed to include aggravated manslaughter which increased the penalty from 10 to 20 years.
  • Publication in the Accident Reconstruction Journal illustrating the use of chemicals and laser to highlight the impression of a speedometer needle against the back of the speedometer to indicate speed at the time of a crash.
  • Self-motivated research into his department's purchase of the Electronic Total Station, a system of computers used for field investigations. His study of the system saved the department thousands of dollars and established them as the first agency in Virginia to use the technology.
  • Complete revamping of the course lesson plan for accident investigation for the Fairfax County Public Safety Academy.
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