Sarasota Police Department Kicks Off Ambassador Program with News Conference

SARASOTA, Fla. – July 17, 2014 – 8 a.m.

On Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 11 a.m., between 10 and 15 Sarasota Police Department Volunteer Ambassadors will begin their new initiative at Selby Five Points Park in Sarasota traveling on foot throughout downtown at various times.

**Media is invited to attend a News Conference at 11 a.m., Tuesday, July 22nd at Selby Five Points Park in Sarasota (between Pineapple Avenue and Central Avenue)**

Ambassadors will be a friendly face, be able to answer questions about events going on downtown, give directions and serve as walking "kiosks" for help. They’ll be clearly identified by their Royal Blue shirts that say ‘Police Volunteer’ on the back and ‘Blue + Volunteers + You’ on the front. They’ll assist in sharing information about Sarasota as well as what is happening at places like the Van Wezel and other areas around town.

The Sarasota Police Department Volunteer Ambassador Program is one of the BLUE + YOU Initiatives.  Ambassadors are volunteers that have completed the proper training with the Sarasota Police Department. They’ll carry a police radio and will be able to call in any emergencies. Ambassadors will have no arrest capabilities.

"Citizen Volunteers are an important asset to the Sarasota Police Department and our community. We are extremely fortunate to have citizens living in our area willing to donate their time which then enables our officers to focus on their essential law enforcement functions," said Chief Bernadette DiPino, Sarasota Police Department. "They are an extra set of eyes and ears for the downtown area as well as a repository of information about our community," said DiPino. 

The Sarasota Police Department is continuing to accept applications for Ambassador positions. Ambassadors should like to walk, be able to walk several miles in the afternoon and have an outgoing disposition. If interested, contact Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Rinaca at 941-366-2845 or michelle.rinaca@sarasotagov.com