When a citizen or visitor calls the Sarasota Police Department for assistance, the initial responding Officer is assigned to the Patrol Division. The Patrol Division is the backbone of the Sarasota Police Department. Patrol Officers are responsible for normal patrol operations in the City of Sarasota. The City of Sarasota is broken down into three districts: North, Central and South. You can view the Patrol Zone Map by clicking here. The Patrol Division also encompasses the K-9 Unit, Traffic Homicide Unit, Marine Patrol Unit, School Resource Officers and Homeless Outreach Team.
There are four shifts of Officers that provide police services within the City of Sarasota 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Each Patrol shift is supervised by a Lieutenant, three Sergeants and is staffed by numerous Police Officers to ensure an efficient and effective patrol response. There are three walking beats in the City of Sarasota, two of which are in the Downtown area and one in the Newtown area.
Patrol Officers meet with the reporting person, interview witnesses and suspects, collect evidence, render first aid, effect arrests and conduct crash investigations. If a scene or criminal investigation is complex, the Patrol Officer can request assistance from a specialized unit for additional investigative resources; however the initial case is worked by the Patrol Officer.
Many Patrol Officers have received specialized training in investigative techniques, narcotics detection and investigation, evidence recovery, police bicycle operation and crisis intervention training (CIT) which enhances their response to our City. Patrol Officers receive advanced training in Community Oriented and Partnership Policing, Use of Force, Police Vehicle Operations and various of other law enforcement topics.
All Special Response Teams also report to the Patrol Division Commander. Special Response Teams include: Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Explosive Materials Unit (EMU), Emergency Response Team (ERT), Crisis Negations Unit (EMU), Underwater Search and Recovery and Honor Guard.
Captain James Rieser serves as the Commander of the Sarasota Police Department’s Patrol Division. Lieutenant Richie Schwieterman serves as the Deputy Commander of the Patrol Division and also serves as the Special Response Commander of the Sarasota Police Department’s Special Operations Teams.
SPECIAL RESPONSE TEAMS
There are four teams assigned to the Special Response Unit of the Sarasota Police Department.
CRISIS NEGOTIATION UNIT
The Crisis Negotiations Unit is currently comprised of seven officers and Sergeants who respond with S.W.A.T. during incidents that require prolonged specialized negations.
The Crisis Negotiation Unit of the Sarasota Police Department is a highly trained and specially equipped team that is deployed whenever a critical incident involving a hostage taker, barricaded subject, or suicidal person occurs, or in any other crisis intervention situation where the skills of a trained professional negotiator are needed.
There are eight (8) Negotiators assigned to the team. A Team Leader and an Assistant Team Leader are appointed to direct the training and deployment of the Unit. Candidates are selected on the basis of their experience, communication skills, and ability to operate under highly stressful circumstances. Negotiators must attend and complete the Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced Hostage Negotiation Courses, and must attend monthly team training sessions. The Unit is assigned a heavy support vehicle that is equipped with an array of sophisticated electronics equipment designed specifically for the negotiation environment.
Since its inception, the Crisis Negotiation Unit has been instrumental in bringing many critical incidents to a successful and safe conclusion.
EXPLOSIVE MATERIALS UNIT (E.M.U.)
The Explosive Materials Unit is comprised of four specialized trained officers.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE TEAM (E.R.T.)
The Emergency Response Team is an interagency unit that is tasked with providing tactical needs in law enforcement services as well as field force contingent if needed. There are currently two Sergeants and six officers assigned to this team.
The Honor Guard is authorized, upon request, to represent the Sarasota Police Department at parades, funerals and special events.
Supervisor Lt. Richie Schwieterman
Sgt. Anthony Frangioni
The K-9 Unit is comprised of four Uniformed Officers, one Sergeant and their four K-9 Partners. Three of the 4 K-9’s are certified for Patrol (F.D.L.E.). Two of the K-9's are certified in explosive detection.
The Sarasota Police Department has two full-time marine patrol officers.
SPECIAL WEAPONS AND TACTICS UNIT (S.W.A.T.)
The main objective of the S.W.A.T. Unit is to respond to critical incidents and provide for the safety and protection of any hostages, innocent citizens, responding police officers, and perpetrators.
The Special Weapons and Tactics Team (S.W.A.T.) is comprised of a Team Leader, Assistant Team Leader, two S.W.A.T. Medics and 18 specialty trained officers.
The Traffic Unit is comprised of three officers and a Sergeant who have received advanced training in traffic enforcement and Police Motorcycle operation.
The Sarasota Police Traffic Unit/Motor Unit consists of three officers and one Sergeant. All Officers are required to attend and complete an 80 day course on basic police motorcycle operations. After completion of the course, each motor officer is assigned a police motorcycle which they are responsible to maintain. Each motor officer attends monthly training to stay proficient. The motor units responsibilities consist of, but are not limited to, traffic enforcement, selective neighborhood enforcement, special events, and dignitary escorts.
The unit has initiated or participated in a number of programs intended to prevent accidents and make the streets safer to include the "Click It or Ticket program," "Drive Sober or get Pulled Over." They work side by side with the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office traffic to enforce hot spots of traffic problems in and out of the city in an attempt to reduce vehicle crashes.
The Traffic Unit's other responsibilities include Hit and Run follow-up investigations, and also doubles as the Traffic Homicide Unit which has a team of 3 investigators and 1 reconstructionist. they respond to all serious injury and fatal crashes within the city limits.
Sarasota Police Traffic Unit
UNDERWATER SEARCH AND RECOVERY DIVE TEAM
The Dive Team Unit provides for the availability of a specially trained unit capable of responding to emergencies and other situations occurring within jurisdictional waterways where the use of underwater divers may be needed.