‘YOU NEVER KNOW’
Cordick and Vassar sometimes find themselves in disbelief of situations they are involved in while on the job.
“I still could never figure out how somebody flips a car in the City of Plattsburgh,” Cordick said.
He remembers responding to a call where a drunken driver crashed and rolled her car onto its side on Montcalm Street early one morning.
And Vassar responded to a call one night where a young man who was riding his bike on Margaret Street ran into a parked car.
Just minutes later, after the injured man had been taken to the hospital and police were clearing the street of debris, another man ran into the back of the same car.
It turned out the two were roommates, Vassar said.
“You never know what you’re going to see.”
Cordick is a certified drug-recognition expert and has proven to be very good at finding drunken drivers.
“All you have to do is look in their eyes,” he said.
Those under the influence will usually show tell-tale signs; their eyes will appear glassy, shiny, watery or bloodshot, Cordick said.
Recognizing when someone is intoxicated isn’t always easy, though.
A New York State Police trooper called for Cordick’s assistance in evaluating a person suspected to be under the influence. Because he couldn’t assist in person, he advised the trooper over the phone.
In 2009, when he was a deputy with the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department, Cordick made 28 DWI arrests.
The next year, that number more than doubled.
He was awarded the statewide Mothers Against Drunk Driving/STOP DWI Individual Law Officer Award in 2010.
“It’s never the (drunken) driver that gets hurt,” Cordick said.
It’s a common misconception that breathalyzers are inaccurate, he said.
“It’s a scientific instrument,” Cordick said, describing how the device uses internal lungs, a wheel and infrared technology to measure the alcohol content in a suspect’s breath particles.