SARASOTA, Fla. – March 30, 2015 – 8:30 a.m.
On Friday, April 3, 2015 at 11 a.m., outside Sarasota Police Department Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane, the Sarasota Police Department will honor the memory and legacy of Officer Warren David Jones by unveiling honorary street signs that will be placed along Adams Lane between East Avenue and Links Avenue. Officer Jones is the only Sarasota Police Department officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the department.
The signage will come at no cost to the City of Sarasota. The Southwest Florida Police Benevolent Association has agreed to cover all costs association with the dedication.
Officer Jones was shot and killed in the line of duty in the City of Sarasota on April 5, 1975. Sunday, April 5, 2015 will mark the 40th anniversary of his death. On April 5, 1975, Officer Jones was shot and killed with his own firearm after struggling with Henry Lee Washington. Washington was stealing gas from an area station at 1450 Mango Street, Sarasota, when Officer Jones noticed Washington’s vehicle parked next to the fuel storage.
Officer Jones made contact with Washington and attempted to arrest him but while handcuffing him, Washington was able to gain control of Officer Jones’ firearm. After a struggle, Officer Jones was shot in the chest. Officer Jones attempted to make it back to his patrol car to call for backup but Washington beat Jones with his flashlight. Officer Jones died from his injuries the same night. Washington fled the area and was found in Fort Myers and committed suicide several days later.
Sergeant Lori Jaress spearheaded the project to help remember Officer Jones for generations to come. "It’s important that we never forget Officer Jones and the ultimate sacrifice he made for our community. With the 40th anniversary approaching, I felt it was important to honor Officer Jones’ legacy," said Sergeant Lori Jaress, Sarasota Police Department. Sgt. Jaress coordinated with the City’s Engineering Division to turn her idea for the honorary street signs into a reality.
Chief Bernadette DiPino, Acting Deputy Chief Pat Robinson as well as Command Staff and Officers from the Sarasota Police Department will be in attendance. City of Sarasota Mayor Willie Shaw and City Commissioners will also be in attendance.