Eight York County officers honored for targeting aggressive driving

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
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Eight police officers from around York County who target aggressive driving were honored Thursday by PennDOT and the Center for Traffic Safety.

Retired York County Common Pleas Judge John S. Kennedy handed out award certificates and said it's clear the officers are working hard to make roads safer.

"What you guys do is important," he said. "You really save lives."

Kennedy is a judicial-outreach liaison for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and, as a judge, helped establish York County's drug treatment court and Target 25 intoxicated driver program, which requires police to run a records check when stopping a suspected drunken driver. Drivers with prior DUIs are arrested at the scene, arraigned and have bail set.

Officer Doug Klinefelter of Newberry Twp. Police

Honored this year were Hellam Township Police Officer Josh Phillips, Lower Windsor Township Police Officer Andrew Neff, Newberry Township Police Office Doug Klinefelter, Springettsbury Township Police Patrolman Daniel Klinedinst, Spring Garden Township Police Patrolman Angel Rivera, West Manchester Township Police Patrol Officer Justin Hobbs and York Area Regional Police Officers Andy Mallette and James Hess.

Phillips, Neff, Klinefelter and Klinedinst attended Thursday's ceremony.

Patrolman Daniel Klinedinst of Springettsbury Twp. Police

"Our plan is to get to zero (traffic) fatalities by the year 2050," said Jeff Bowman, law enforcement liaison for Region 2 of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.

Klinefelter, a certified drug recognition expert, has been with Newberry Township Police since 2018. Prior to that, he worked for Lower Windsor Township Police and for Pennsylvania Capitol Police at the  Capitol in Harrisburg.

He said cutting down on aggressive driving offenses such as speeding, tailgating and aggressive lane changes will ultimately reduce the number of crashes and crash fatalities.

"Many times, aggressive driving is the result of road rage," Klinefelter said, and advised drivers to stay calm.

Officer Andrew Neff of Lower Windsor Twp. Police

"Don't react to somebody else's action — two wrongs don't make a right," he said. "Keep a level head and just remember that the ultimate goal is to get home at night. So if it takes you another 30 seconds to do it, then that's a very small price to pay.

"Plus, you don't have to talk to me then."

Different every day: Phillips has been with Hellam Township Police for about two years. Prior to that, he spent about two years as a York City police officer and, before that, two years as a York County sheriff's deputy.

He said he enjoys patrol work and interacting with people, and noted that pulling over people who commit traffic offenses regularly leads to officers finding people with outstanding warrants or who are impaired.

Officer Josh Phillips of Hellam Twp. Police

"Every day is different," Phillips said. "Are we going to change the world? No."

But officers' efforts to target aggressive drivers are making a difference, officials said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.