SARASOTA, Fla. -- April 27, 2016 -- 11 a.m.
On Tuesday during the meeting of the Florida Cabinet in Tallahassee, Florida Governor Rick Scott and Volunteer Florida awarded the Sarasota Police Department Volunteer Ambassadors with the Champion of Service Award.
The Champion of Service Award is the only statewide volunteer recognition award. This honor is awarded to volunteers and organizations who go above and beyond in service to their community. Volunteer Florida presents the Champion of Service Award at Cabinet meetings and other events across the state of Florida.
There are 70 Sarasota Police Volunteer Ambassadors in the City of Sarasota. In the month of March, they gave an all-time department records of 1,809 hours of service. Sarasota Police Volunteer Ambassadors help at the front desk, deliver mail, send alarm letters, handle trespass signs, track lost patients for Project Lifesaver, patrol neighborhoods, walk along Main Street, conduct citizen surveys, block intersections at parades and marathons and work major events.
“The relationship between our police department and our volunteers exemplifies the definition of partnership policing,” said Sarasota Police Deputy Chief Pat Robinson. “They provide an additional layer of public safety in our most in-demand areas. They enhance the ability of our police department to provide excellent public service to our community.”
“Our Volunteer Ambassadors are amazing,” said Michelle Rinaca, Sarasota Police Volunteer Coordinator. “They volunteer for different reasons but overwhelmingly they do it because they want to find a way to show love, respect and support for the work the men and women of the Sarasota Police Department do every single day.”
“As we continue to celebrate Florida Volunteer Month in April, we are especially proud to recognize the Sarasota Downtown Ambassador Program for connecting volunteers to opportunities to serve,” said Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman They embody service leadership at the community, school and individual level and they are using innovative ways to make volunteering easy and accessible.”
Pictured left to right: Volunteer Florida CEO Chester Spellman, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Governor Rick Scott, Sarasota Police Volunteer Shirley Shaw, Volunteer Coordinator Michelle Rinaca, Volunteer Anne Bianchi, Sarasota Police Deputy Chief Pat Robinson, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam.