Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino appointed to two prestigious committees

SARASOTA, Fla. – August 28, 2014 – 8 a.m.

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino has been selected to serve and represent Florida law enforcement on two prestigious committees. Chief DiPino will serve on the Executive Committee for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and will also serve as the Florida representative on the State Associations of Chiefs of Police (SACOP).

Chief DiPino will oversee the Board of Directors for the IACP and will represent Florida and facilitate the exchange of information both to leadership and policy makers in law enforcement. Chief DiPino will serve and work to create policy guidance on timely and relevant topics in law enforcement and facilitate and encourage dialogue between local law enforcement and state and federal partners. Chief DiPino will also interact with government leaders to establish best practices and policies among law enforcement throughout the country.

"This is a great honor to have both these opportunities. They give me a chance to interact with our national leaders to help the development of policy and best practices in law enforcement," said Chief DiPino. "This is an opportunity to learn and share police tactics, strategies and initiatives with law enforcement from around the world. It’s a great opportunity and honor to serve in these roles."

This isn’t the first time Chief DiPino has been appointed to these positions; she served during her time as Chief in Ocean City, Maryland where she was able to draft ordinances referencing against the use of spice.

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino

Sarasota Police Department to honor and recognize officers in promotion ceremony

SARASOTA, Fla. – August 22, 2014 – 2:30 p.m.

The Sarasota Police Department is proud and honored to announce the promotion of several individuals within our department.

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at 3 p.m. a promotion ceremony will be held in the 2nd Floor Community Room at the Sarasota Police Department at 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.

Family, friends, community leaders and members of the media are welcome and invited to attend the ceremony.

Sarasota P.D. accepts Cold Water Challenge & challenges other law enforcement

SARASOTA, Fla. -- August 20, 2014 -- 8 a.m.

Chief Bernadette DiPino and members of the Sarasota Police Department along with other local law enforcement agencies will take the ‘Cold Water Challenge’ after Sarasota Police Officer David Kennedy was challenged by Officer John Dunlop of the Los Angeles Police Department in California.  The challenge will raise money for the Officer Down Memorial Page (www.odmp.org)

The Cold Water Challenge will be on Friday, August 22nd at 9 a.m. outside of the Sarasota Police Department near the entrance to Payne Park at 2099 Adams Lane, Sarasota.  Media and community members are welcome to attend. 

The Cold Water Challenge is a viral campaign that is raising awareness for non-profit organizations or causes.  People accept the challenge and then video themselves doing it and challenge others.  The goal is to work to raise awareness and money for charity.

In 2014 so far, 67 members of law enforcement have been killed in the line of duty across the United States.  Chief DiPino, Officer Kennedy along with more than 40 volunteers will each donate $10 to the Officer Down Memorial Page.  Each volunteer will also read the name of a department and officer killed in the line of duty followed by having cold water poured over their head.

“This is a way to bring the spotlight onto the men and women that put their lives on the line and never made it home at the end of their shift,” said Chief Bernadette DiPino.  “I want to thank our officers for their dedication and their selfless service protecting the City of Sarasota every day,” said Chief DiPino.

Back to School Safety Reminders

SARASOTA, Fla. – August 14, 2014 – 8 a.m.

On Monday, August 18, 2014, classes will resume in the City of Sarasota. As students head back to school, the Sarasota Police Department wants to remind drivers that there is a zero tolerance policy beginning Monday for speeding in school zones and passing school buses that have their stop sign extended for students boarding or leaving the bus.

A few safety tips to remember as classes resume in the City of Sarasota:

• Students being back in class means increased traffic on the roads. Allow extra time to reach your destination and watch for other cars, pedestrians, bicyclists and school buses.

• Buckle up! Make sure all occupants of the car, especially children, are always buckled up. In Florida, all passengers under 18 years old must wear a seatbelt or be restrained in a child car seat.

• Pay attention to crossing guards and always drive slowly in school zones and near schools – Many students walk to and from class and to and from home.

• Cars must stop for all school buses when a stop sign is out and the lights are flashing, even if the bus is on the opposite side of the street unless there is a raised median more than four feet wide that divides the street.

Fines for speeding in school zones and passing school buses can range anywhere from $156 to $456. Officers are encouraging drives to slow down and allow plenty of time getting to and from their destination.

Cracking Down on Drunk Drivers: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

SARASOTA, Fla. – August 13, 2014 – 1:30 p.m.

Labor Day weekend is coming up. For many Americans, that means a day off, backyard and beach barbecues and visiting family and friends. Unfortunately, it also means a sharp increase in drunk-driving related fatalities.

Now through Labor Day weekend, the Sarasota Police Department will be aggressively targeting drunk drivers as part of a nationwide effort to end drunk driving and save lives. The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ campaign will pair increased public awareness with high-visibility enforcement, resulting in fewer drunk drivers on Sarasota roads.

Each year, on average, more than 10,000 people die on the road due to drunk driving. "We want drivers to know that we do not tolerate drunk driving. No warnings, no excuses. If drivers are caught driving under the influence, they will be arrested," said Lieutenant Kevin Stiff, Assistant Commander, Patrol Division, Sarasota Police Department. "We’re hoping Sarasota drivers get the message and take some simple steps to prevent a tragedy. There is always another way home," said Lt. Stiff.

One in three traffic fatalities in the United States are alcohol related. Last year, over the Labor Day weekend, one person was killed every 34 minutes, on average, in an alcohol-impaired driving crash. A DUI arrest can mean time in jail, loss of your license and steep financial expenses; the average DUI costs are about $10,000. This Labor Day weekend, don’t let the festivities turn into fatalities.

Search warrant ends with four arrests & seizure of firearms, money and drugs

SARASOTA, Fla. – August 11, 2014 – 10 a.m.

On Friday, August 08, 2014, the Sarasota Police Department Narcotics Unit, with the assistance of the SWAT team, Street Crimes Unit and Patrol Division, executed a search warrant at 1083 Colleton Drive in Sarasota due to neighborhood complaints of drug sales at this address.   As a result of the search warrant, four individuals were arrested and charged with drug related crimes.

Detectives seized:

  • 264.6 grams of powder cocaine

  • 41 grams of rock cocaine

  • 25.9 grams of heroin

  • 9.2 grams of marijuana

  • 25.4 grams of oxycodone

  • 32.7 grams of hydromorphone (Dilaudid)

  • $6,832 US currency

  • 2 loaded semi-automatic handguns


    “Neighborhood reports were that this home and the people living there were operating an around the clock drug business.  We hope these arrests have a major impact on the quality of life for this neighborhood and the people who live there,” said Lt. Pat Ledwith, Commander, Criminal Investigation Division, Sarasota Police Department.

Robert J. Gambles Jr.  DOB (05/27/82) 1083 Colleton Drive, Sarasota Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams Trafficking in Cocaine 200 – 400 grams Trafficking in Heroin 14-28 grams Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (Oxycodone) Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (Hydromorphone)

Robert J. Gambles Jr.  DOB (05/27/82)
1083 Colleton Drive, Sarasota

Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams

Trafficking in Cocaine 200 – 400 grams

Trafficking in Heroin 14-28 grams

Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (Oxycodone)

Trafficking in a Controlled Substance (Hydromorphone)

Tavaris C. Edwards   DOB (05/21/86) 1083 Colleton Drive, Sarasota Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams Trafficking in Heroin 4-14 Grams Trafficking in Cocaine 28-200 Grams

Tavaris C. Edwards   DOB (05/21/86)
1083 Colleton Drive, Sarasota

Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams

Trafficking in Heroin 4-14 Grams

Trafficking in Cocaine 28-200 Grams

Wayne L. Goff Jr.   DOB  (02/04/93) 1083 Colleton Drive, Sarasota Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Sell (Oxycodone) Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Sell (Hydromorphone)

Wayne L. Goff Jr.   DOB  (02/04/93)
1083 Colleton Drive, Sarasota

Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams

Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Sell (Oxycodone)

Possession of a Controlled Substance With Intent to Sell (Hydromorphone)

Johnnie L. Lang   DOB (08/03/79) 1216 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Sarasota Trafficking in Cocaine 28-200 Grams Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams

Johnnie L. Lang   DOB (08/03/79)
1216 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Sarasota

Trafficking in Cocaine 28-200 Grams

Possession of Marijuana less than 20 Grams