Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix Safety Reminders & Road Closures

SARASOTA, FL. – June 27, 2017   - 4 p.m.

The Sarasota Police Department wants you to enjoy the Fourth of July holiday safely and always, if you SEE something, SAY something. Report any suspicious activity or behavior to law enforcement immediately. The annual Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix attracts thousands of people to the City of Sarasota and is a large part of the Fourth of July festivities. The Sarasota Police Department is committed to keeping our residents and visitors safe.

Boating Safety Reminders
The Sarasota Police Department Marine Patrol created a public service announcement leading up to the Fourth of July holiday highlighting important safety tips for boating. The video includes the proper safety equipment and gear a boater should have on their vessel along with the importance of not drinking and boating. The video can be seen at https://youtu.be/sQimT7mlib4

Lido Beach Holiday Hours
The Sarasota County Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance requires that all beach furniture and equipment be removed from the beach nightly, until sunrise the following morning. Also, pursuant to amended Sarasota City Code Sec. 22-4, Lido Key public beaches will be closed to beachgoers from 11 p.m. until sunrise, from June 30 until July 10. This means that Lido Key beach will be closed to all beachgoers, race spectators and beach equipment until sunrise, which is approximately 6:30 a.m., during the 4th of July holiday events. The Sarasota Police Department will be strictly enforcing these closure times to protect the safety of all beachgoers, including the sea turtle kind.

Unattended Personal Property & Sea Turtle Protection
In addition to expanded marine, foot and vehicle patrols, the Sarasota Police Department will be protecting public safety during the Sarasota Grand Prix weekend by posting signs prohibiting beachgoers from storing and leaving unattended personal property on Lido Beach, pursuant to Sarasota City Code Sec. 21-44. This is for the protection of all beachgoers and their belongings, to help ensure a safe and orderly race and beach-going experience. Also, beach furniture and other beach equipment, toys or trash left on the beach overnight during sea turtle nesting season can pose a serious entanglement hazard and obstacle for sea turtles and their hatchlings. Beachgoers should stay away from sea turtle nests marked with yellow stakes and tape, and seabird nesting zones that are bounded by ropes.

The Sarasota County Sea Turtle Protection Ordinance requires any “temporary structures, including but not limited to beach chairs, umbrellas and cabanas which have the potential for entrapment of marine turtles and which may interfere with the use of the natural beach environment for nesting habitat, be removed from the beach nightly, from sunset to sunrise.” Mote, the Sarasota Police Department, Sarasota County Parks Department and the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix are partnering to protect endangered sea turtles and ask for your help in making this a safe event for all.

Race Day Information
Any race stoppage will be announced on VHF Channel 16.  Boaters can also tune into the live stream at AquaX Races at www.facebook.com/P1AquaX  or PowerBoat Races atwww.facebook.com/P1SuperStock  The races will also be broadcasted on radio station 105.9 (The BUZZ).

Plan Ahead: Have a Designated Driver
AAA Tow To Go:  AAA Tow to Go Program will be offered again to make sure those who are celebrating the holiday get home safely. The free, confidential, local ride is within a 10-mile radius to a safe location. This is offered June 30, 2017 until 6 a.m. on July 5th in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee. Call 1-855-TOW-2-GO (1-855-286-9246) or visit https://autoclubsouth.aaa.com/safety/tow_to_go.aspx

Road Closures / Parking
Vehicles not removed by the posted time will be towed at the owner’s expense. For information on towed vehicles, please call Direct Towing at 941-365-6823.
 

·       10th Street from U.S. 41 to Sarasota Bay   7 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017 until 6 p.m. Sunday, July 2, 2017
 

·       Lemon Avenue from First Street to State Street 10 a.m. Friday, June 30, 2017 until Midnight Friday June 30, 2017

 

·       Van Wezel Way from East End to 10th Street /// Central Avenue from Main Street to First Street /// Pineapple Avenue from State Street to First Street 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2017 until 11 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2017

 

·       Main Street from Orange Avenue to Palm Avenue 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2017 until Midnight Friday, June 30, 2017

 

·       South Lido Overflow Parking Lot 10 p.m. Friday, June 30, 2017 until 5 p.m. Sunday, July 2, 2017.

 

Due to limited parking spaces, it’s highly recommended to carpool to weekend events.  Illegally parked vehicles are subjected to ticketing.  Vehicles blocking private driveways are subjected to towing.  Anticipate long delays from the beach area at the conclusion of the races.  Expect an exit time in excess of one hour when leaving the beach viewing area.

Centennial Park / Boat Ramp Closures

11:59 p.m. Thursday, June 29, 2017 until 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 2, 2017.
 

This area will be utilized as the staging area for the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix. There will be no boat ramp access during this time. A suggested alternative boat ramp is located in Ken Thompson Park next to Mote Marine Laboratory on City Island.

 

New Pass Closure
New Pass will be closed over the weekend: Saturday, July 1, 2017 and Sunday July 2, 2017 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.  The pass will be closed west of the New Pass Bridge.  Boaters will be able to access the cove. 

 

Tuesday, July 4, 2017 – Fireworks & Road Closures/Limited Parking

·       Bayfront Drive (US 41), from Gulfstream Avenue to Orange Avenue will close at 7:00 p.m. and will remain closed until approximately 11:00 p.m.
 

·       Parking Lot at Bayfront Park/ Island Park will be closed when the parking lot has reached maximum capacity.  No parking will be permitted on the grass area south end of Bayfront.
 

·       Palm Avenue Garage & State Street Garage – Additional parking will be available at both of these parking garages.  Expect delays when exiting due to heavy traffic.
NOTE: Vehicle Traffic leaving the Bayfront/ Downtown area following the July 4th Fireworks will be subject to certain restricted traffic control measures as part of a comprehensive exit plan. Expect long traffic delays of up to one hour upon exit from the event area.

Pets
The Sarasota Police Department is encouraging race spectators to leave their pets at home for the Fourth of July and the Sarasota Powerboat Grand Prix festivities. During past events, several animals were lost because they were spooked during the events.

 

Sarasota Police Department Awarded Accreditation Status

SARASOTA, FL. – June 27, 2017   – 1 p.m.

The Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA), in conjunction with the Florida Police Accreditation Coalition (FLA-PAC), met last Wednesday, June 21, 2017, at Omni ChampionsGate in Orlando and awarded the Sarasota Police Department with accreditation status.  This status will stay in good standing with CFA for the next three years.

Video of the accreditation ceremony in Orlando and video today’s news conference can be found on the Sarasota Police Department YouTube page at https://youtu.be/I4XvxKR5gjg

In March 2017, a team of assessors from CFA conducted a thorough on-site assessment of the Sarasota Police Department.  They examined all aspects of policies and procedures, management, operations and support services.  CFA assessors found the agency in compliance with 238 standards.  Assessors found no out of compliance issues or corrective actions that needed to be taken.  Several photos of the visit from March are below.

In June 2014, Chief Bernadette DiPino voluntarily withdrew from the accreditation process after learning several policy reviews and updates did not occur dating back to 2012.  Accreditation is a voluntary process and is not mandatory for law enforcement agencies.  Since 2014, Sarasota Police Department Accreditation Manager Cheryl Houpt worked diligently to review written materials and update policies, many of which are critical to life, health and safety issues.

“This is a highly prized recognition of law enforcement professional excellence,” said Chief DiPino.  “We have a strong commitment to the high standards, best practices and full compliance set forth by the CFA.  We’re proud of this and our goal is to keep this status in years to come.”

In their final assessment report, the CFA accreditation team wrote, “Agency members provided excellent answers and observations during interviews, the accreditation files were well-prepared and the agency is well-recognized for its innovative approach to many partnerships.” 
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Sarasota Police Attempt to Identify Suspects in Monday afternoon shooting

SARASOTA, FL. – June 20, 2017   – 2 p.m.

On Monday, June 19, 2017, Sarasota Police Officers responded to shots fired near 32nd Street and North Washington Boulevard, Sarasota.  Officers were dispatched that multiple callers were advising two vehicles were chasing each other eastbound on 32nd Street and then northbound on North Washington Blvd., while firing shots at each other.

No one was injured but there was property damage caused by bullets in the 3000 block of North Washington Blvd.  Video of the two vehicles involved can be found on the Sarasota Police Department YouTube page at https://youtu.be/N_dhfs_U7ho   

The vehicles are described as:

·       Vehicle 1: A newer model, gold Chevy Malibu with dark tinted windows.

·       Vehicle 2: A newer model white Toyota Camry with dark tinted windows.

Anyone with information on this case, please call Detective Anthony DeFrancisco at 941-954-7049 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com

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Sarasota Police Attempt to Identify Armed Robbery Suspects

SARASOTA, FL. – June 19, 2017   – 11:30 a.m.

Detectives with the Sarasota Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying two armed robbery suspects who demanded money from a bartender at Memories Lounge, 3428 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.  The armed robbery occurred on Sunday, June 18, 2017 at approximately 1:30 a.m.  Video can be found at https://youtu.be/YQKC4x64B1I

Two males are seen on camera entering the lounge’s parking lot from the south east.  The suspects crossed the parking lot and ran through the front door of the lounge.  Once inside, one suspect, who appeared to be armed with a rifle, made his way towards the bar and demanded money from the bartender.  The suspect pushed the bartender to the cash register where he removed an unknown amount of cash.  The suspect also grabbed two bottles of alcohol before leaving the lounge.  The second suspect was out of camera view during this time.  Both suspects were seen leaving through the back parking lot, on foot.

The suspects are described as:

First Suspect: Black male, between 25 and 35 years of age, 5'8"-5'10", muscular build, long black goatee or beard, brown eyes and black hair.  He was last seen wearing a black beanie cap, gray hoodie, black shorts, black string backpack on his chest, black socks, and tan/white shoes.  He was armed with a rifle.    

Second Suspect: Black male, between 25 and 35 years of age, thin build, approximately 6'0”.  Last seen wearing a black hoodie, black long pants or jeans and black shoes.  He was armed with a shotgun. 

Anyone with information on this case, please call Detective Dustin Luciano at 941-780-2646 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 941-366-TIPS or online at www.sarasotacrimestoppers.com           

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3 Vehicle Crash Investigation at Faubel Street & Higel Avenue

SARASOTA, FL. – June 15, 2017   – 1:15 p.m.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit are continuing their investigation into a 3-vehicle fatality crash that occurred on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at approximately 6 p.m. at the intersection of Faubel Street and Higel Avenue, Sarasota.  Both speed and a possible medical issue were factors that investigators believe caused the crash.

Guy Theron, 57, of Sarasota, died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.  Theron was driving the 2008 silver Dodge mini-van.  There were questions from several media outlets about the Uber sticker found on the windshield of the mini-van.  Theron was not driving for Uber at the time of the crash and there was no one else in the van at the time of the crash.  Next of kin has been notified.

Ian Lee, 18, of Sarasota, was driving the 2000 gold Honda.  He was transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Killian Metz, 17, of Sarasota, was transported with Sarasota Memorial Hospital with serious injuries but is expected to recover.  He was the driver of the black Scion.

Darian Callahan, 19, of Sarasota, was a passenger inside the black Scion.  He was transported with Sarasota Memorial Hospital with critical injuries but is expected to recover.

At this time, investigators believe Theron was driving his silver Dodge mini-van at a high rate of speed northbound on Higel Avenue and the other two vehicles were driving southbound.  For unknown reasons at this time, Theron swerved, striking one vehicle and then swerved again striking the other vehicle.

The crash remains under investigation.

June 14, 2017 – 10:15 p.m.
The intersection of Faubel and Higel in Sarasota is now open.  The crash involved 3 vehicles, NOT 4 vehicles.  Speed is believed to be a factor in the crash.  Four male adults were transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital as trauma alerts.

 

June 14, 2017   – 7:10 p.m.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department are investigating a 4-vehicle crash with serious injuries at the intersection of Faubel Street and Higel Avenue in Sarasota.  The North Bridge to Siesta Key is expected closed for the next several hours.  Drivers are being asked to please use the South Bridge.  I'm on my way to the scene now. All media is being asked to stage at the patrol car at the intersection of Siesta and Higel. I will be on scene at approximately 7:30 PM.  I will send additional information as soon as it is provided to me. Traffic unit Officers are still arriving on scene at this time.
 

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Myrtle Street and North Tamiami Trail Traffic Crash Investigation

SARASOTA, FL. – June 15, 2017   – 12:15 p.m.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department Traffic Unit are continuing their investigation into a single motorcycle crash that occurred on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at approximately 4:30 a.m. at the intersection of Myrtle Street and North Tamiami Trail (US 41).

E. C. Snell, 41, of Bradenton, died at Sarasota Memorial Hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the motorcycle crash.  His next of kin has been notified.

Snell was driving his 2017 Kawasaki motorcycle northbound on North Tamiami Trail when for unknown reasons swerved and crashed into a pole at the intersection of Myrtle Street.  Officers do not believe speed was a factor in the crash at this time. 

June 14, 2017 -- 7:15 a.m.

All lanes of North Tamiami Trail ( US 41) at Myrtle Street in Sarasota are now open.  A male victim is the only person who was on the motorcycle at the time of the crash.  He has been transported to Sarasota Memorial Hospital with critical injuries.  The crash remains under investigation.

June 14, 2017 -- 5:30 a.m.

Officers with the Sarasota Police Department are just arriving on scene of a single motorcycle crash with injuries at Myrtle Street & N Tamiami Trl (US41) in Sarasota. 

At this time, it's believed there was only one person on the motorcycle.  Injuries along with other details are unknown at this time.

Northbound lanes are currently closed at Myrtle and US41.  Southbound lanes are open, but traffic is moving slowly.  Officers are asking drivers to please avoid the area.
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