Sarasota Police Department Sergeant Receives 16th District Congressional Law Enforcement Award

 

SARASOTA, Fla. – April 20, 2015 – 1 p.m.

On Friday, April 17th, Sergeant Robert Armstrong received the 16th District Congressional Law Enforcement Dedication and Professionalism Award from Representative Vern Buchanan. Sgt. Armstrong was chosen for his actions and leadership during the investigation of two high profile cases, SRQ Cartel I & SRQ Cartel II. Sgt. Armstrong’s service was recognized by the region’s law enforcement community.

"Every day our Officers are tasked with keeping the City of Sarasota a safe and prosperous venue for residents and visitors alike," said Acting Deputy Chief Pat Robinson, Sarasota Police Department. "Operations that remove large amounts of illicit narcotics from our streets have a broad and lasting impact on our community and help create a safer environment for both our community and our Officers alike," said Robinson.

The SRQ Cartel Operations targeted drug suppliers and street drug dealers in the City of Sarasota and surrounding areas over the course of several years. The operations resulted in arrested and the seizure of narcotics, U.S. currency and vehicles.

"Sergeant Armstrong’s investigative efforts and uncompromising professionalism is representative of the level of dedication the Officers of the Sarasota Police Department have for our community and our citizens. This award is well deserved and acts as a reminder to all our Officers that their hard work and dedication to the citizens and visitors of the City of Sarasota do not go unnoticed," said Robinson.

Congressman Vern Buchanan and Sergeant Robert Armstrong

Congressman Vern Buchanan and Sergeant Robert Armstrong

Congressman Vern Buchanan and Sergeant Robert Armstrong

Congressman Vern Buchanan and Sergeant Robert Armstrong


Sarasota Police to participate in 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics

SARASOTA, Fla. – April 20, 2015 – 8 a.m.

For the last 20 plus years, the Sarasota Police Department has been participating in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics. This year our team will take to the streets of Sarasota again!

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department will join more than 300 Florida law enforcement agencies in the state-wide torch run to benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Florida. More than 5,000 officers carry the torch on a 1,500-mile relay throughout Florida yearly. The Sarasota Police Department will receive the Torch from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in the parking lot of Paradise Publix at 3825 South Osprey Avenue at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 23, 2015.

Members of the Sarasota Police Department will run the torch into the City of Sarasota on a route that takes the torch north on Tamiami Trail (U.S. 41), right on Osprey Avenue and left on Main Street and ending at Five Points Park at the intersection of Main Street and Pineapple Avenue. The run is approximately 3.2 miles.

Torch Run Gear purchases, including a Torch Run t-shirt for $12, hats for $10, dry first shirts for $20, dry fit hats for $15 and donations for Special Olympics Florida, can be sent to Sergeant Mark Opitz at the Sarasota Police Department (2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota, FL 34237) or he can be contacted at 941-954-7099. All proceeds go towards supporting the Special Olympic athletes. For more information and routes for other counties in Florida, please visit http://specialolympicsflorida.org/get-involved/law-enforcement-torch-run/torch-run


Two Sarasota Police Department K-9 Teams Graduate

SARASOTA, Fla. – April 17, 2015 – 11:30 a.m.

The Sarasota Police Department is proud to announce the graduation of two new K-9 Teams.  A K-9 graduation was held Thursday evening at the St. Petersburg Police Department K-9 Training Compound.  The graduation ceremony included two officers from the Sarasota Police Department and three officers from the St. Petersburg Police Department.

Sarasota Police Officer Nick Dominis and K-9 partner Coti along with Officer Jake Nelson and K-9 partner Bronson completed the 480-hour K-9 school and are now required to pass a state certification test before working the streets of the City of Sarasota. 

K-9 Coti is a German Shepard and will turn two in June.  Bronson is also a German Shepard and will turn two in May.  Coti and Bronson join Officer Sean Gleason and his K-9 partner Hixon in the K-9 Unit.  The Sarasota Police Department currently has three dogs in the unit and they are assigned to the Patrol Division under the supervision of Sergeant Michael McHale.

“Our officers have worked diligently to train these dogs to serve and protect the residents and visitors of the City of Sarasota,” said Sgt. McHale.  “We’re thankful to the leadership of the Sarasota Police Department and the City of Sarasota for their continuous support of our K-9 program.”

2015 Law Enforcement Memorial - May 15, 2015

SARASOTA, FL. -- April 16, 2015 -- 1:45 p.m.

The Sarasota Police Department will host the 30th Annual Law Enforcement Memorial Service on Friday, May 15, 2015. The event is held annually during National Police Week, which is May 10 - 16, 2015.

The memorial service will be held at 9:30 a.m. at St. Martha's Catholic Church, 200 North Orange Avenue, Sarasota. The public is encouraged and welcome to attend.

Other agencies joining the Sarasota Police Department include the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, North Port Police Department, Venice Police Department, Longboat Key Police Department, Manatee County Sheriff's Office, New College Campus Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol and Sarasota Memorial Public Safety.

The annual Law Enforcement Memorial... Service recognizes the men and women who serve and protect our communities and honors the following Florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in 2014:

Deputy Sheriff Jonathan Scott Pine - Orange County Sheriff's Office, FL

Police Officer Robert G. German - Windermere Police Department, FL

Officer Mark H. Larson - Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, FL

Trooper Chelsea Richard - Florida Highway Patrol

K9 Baron - St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, FL

Deputy Sheriff Christopher Smith - Leon County Sheriff's Office, FL

Police Officer Charles Kondek - Tarpon Springs Police Department, FL

Similar memorial ceremonies will take place across the country during the month of May. In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week is designed to honor those who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Sarasota Police Department Awarded $20,000 Recruiting Grant from Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc.

SARASOTA, Fla. – April 16, 2015 – 10:45 a.m.

The Sarasota Police Department has been awarded $20,000 from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, Inc. for the Police Department Diversity Program and implementation of the Sarasota Police Department Recruitment Strategic Plan. The grant comes from the Willa and Robert Bernhard Fund as well as the McCauley-Brown Fund.

The $20,000 grant will be used to sponsor three or more Sarasota Police candidate officers to criminal justice academy programs, including tuition, books and uniforms. Grant funds will also be used to purchase materials, travel fees, exhibit resources and promotional giveaways to send recruiters to a minimum of three recruitment events. These outcomes will be accomplished within one year.

"The Sarasota Police Department is honored to receive this generous grant to help in our recruiting efforts," said Acting Deputy Chief Pat Robinson, Sarasota Police Department. "This grant will allow us to offer scholarships to exceedingly qualified candidates who might not otherwise be afforded the opportunity to become Sarasota Police Officers due to the high cost of the police academy."

"The Community Foundation is proud to partner with the Sarasota Police Department on this program," said Roxie Jerde, President and CEO of the Community Foundation of Sarasota County. "It’s essential that noteworthy applicants who want to serve their community, but otherwise can’t finance the cost of training, have the opportunity to do so without worry about the fees, which can be a challenging expense for some."

Information about the Sarasota Police Department as well as an initial application can be found at www.sarasotapd.org or via social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. The Sarasota Police Department Recruiter and Background Investigator, Kate Meeks-Hall can be contacted directly at 941-954-7029 or Kate.Meeks-Hall@sarasotagov.com

Sarasota Police Investigating Popeyes Robbery

SARASOTA, Fla -- April 10, 2015 -- 2:30 p.m.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department are investigating a robbery that occurred at Popeyes, 820 N. Washington Blvd., Sarasota at approximately 10:25am Friday.

Popeyes employees told officers a female suspect walked into the store, implied she had a gun and demanded cash. A weapon was not seen and the suspect left the store with undisclosed amount of cash.

Approximately five minutes after the robbery occurred, the suspect was taken into custody in a nearby park and identified as the suspect by witnesses.

Kinah M Johnson (date of birth 8/19/1986) has been arrested and charged with robbery. Johnson was transported to the Sarasota County Jail.