Crash involving police officer under investigation

ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – An investigation continues into a Rotterdam crash that involved three cars and put a police officer in the hospital.

The crash happened after a Rotterdam police officer was attempting to make a traffic stop and drove through an intersection.

It might surprise you that the officer was not required to have his siren on.

Rotterdam Police Officer Dakota Aker was trying to make a traffic stop on Curry Road Thursday just after 3:30 p.m.

“He notices the car, runs the plate, the plate comes back on a difficult vehicle.”

Lt. Jeffery Collins says officer Aker has been with the force for about two years.

He says the cruiser Aker was driving was different that your average police vehicle.

“They call it I believe a low profile vehicle so there aren’t lights on the top but there are numerous lights inside on the side and the outside.”

Aker had turned his lights on but not his siren as he crossed the intersection off Curry Road and North Westcott.

“This is traffic accident and when the investigation is concluded with state police we’ll look in to see if any policies were broken there.”

Captain Michael Tietz with New York State Police says he’s seen the dashcam video from Aker’s cruiser.

“The siren was on and was turned off prior to the collision.”

Now it’s the accident reconstruction team’s job to find out exactly what caused the collision between the three cars.

“It’s more like a perfect storm where a lot of different things came together.”

Tietz says it’s possible Aker was distracted or that the other two drivers were listening for an emergency but not looking for one.

“These cars are equipped with computer systems, cameras, lighting control, sirens, the police radio. There are so many different things going on.”

Even though Rotterdam Police say both lights and sirens are preferred in this type of situation, they’re not required by protocol.

“Our protocol for the department is when you’re in emergency protocol to be as visible as possible and lights and sirens are certainly a way to do that.”

Officer Aker is still in the hospital today recovering.

News10 ABC’s Ayla Ferrone checked with other nearby police forces to see what their protocol is on lights and sirens and it varies depending on the department.

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