Officer Jay Pollard was recognized by the Onondaga County Traffic Safety Board on Jan. 11.
Photo by Amanda Seef.
Camillus Nearly half of all driving while intoxicated arrests in the town of Camillus in the past year can be attributed to one officer.
Officer James “Jay” Pollard, a three-year veteran of the force, was recognized by the Onondaga County Traffic Safety Advisory Board for identifying and arresting the highest number of drivers under the influence in a year. He placed 50 drivers under arrest from September 2010 to September 2011, which is 49 percent of the department’s entire DWI arrests. Camillus officers charged 103 drivers with DWI in that time.
“I was actually really surprised,” Pollard said. “I know there are a lot of agencies that focus on impaired drivers, but I knew I had made a lot of arrests for DWI.”
Pollard, a life-time resident of Camillus and 2004 graduate of West Genesee High School, has been a full-time officer in Camillus since 2009, working part-time since 2007.
He attributes his love for law enforcement to his time as a Police Explorer, starting when he was 16.
“I did the Explorer program as a community service project to put on my college resume,” he said. “But I did it and I fell in love with the job.”
He attended Utica College for criminal justice, working part-time for Syracuse University’s Department of Public Safety before returning to Camillus.
“That’s my favorite part of the job,” he said. “My family and friends are here and on several occasions I have been able to help them when they have been victims of a crime.”
In Pollard’s first two years as an officer, he charged numerous individuals with DWI, prompting his enrollment in an advanced roadside impaired driver enforcement class. That class helped to teach Pollard how to identify drivers who may be impaired.
“As long as I’m getting the impaired drivers off the road, I’m making it safer for other people to drive,” Pollard said.
Traffic enforcement has been one of his favorite parts of the job.
“I’ve only been a patrolmen for four-and-a-half years but I like responding to calls the most and doing traffic patrol,” he said. “I like educating people on the proper way to operate their vehicles in a safe manner. It’s my job to reduce as many accidents as possible.”
Pollard also serves as the advisor of the Explorer Post No. 949, teaching other young minds in Camillus and Solvay about law enforcement.
“I love this job,” Pollard said. “I love doing what I do.”