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 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