Sheriff Tom Knight is the 10th Sheriff of Sarasota County, serving since January 6, 2009. To pursue this office, he left a 20 year career with the Florida Highway Patrol where he held the position of Troop Commander, managing a seven-county region with more than 300 employees, a central communications center and a $20 million budget.
Sheriff Knight has lived in Florida since 1973 when his family moved to Sarasota County from western Pennsylvania. He graduated from Venice High School in 1981, attended Manatee Junior College and later transferred to Florida State University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Criminology in 1986. Sheriff Knight and his wife Tracy have two daughters and currently reside in Nokomis.
Sarasota County is located on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Our jurisdiction encompasses 572 square miles, including 35 miles of shoreline. The county is home to 387,000 residents - a number that swells to more than 500,000 residents during winter months.
There are nearly 1,000 sworn and civilian employees. Personnel duties include patrol, investigations, corrections, communications, youth services, K-9, victim’s assistance, court security, animal services, aviation, mounted patrol, SWAT and crime prevention. Another 100 volunteers assist our agency in various areas.
Compliance with professionally accepted national and state standards and regular review by outside professionals are important elements for ensuring acceptable agency practices. For many years, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has been accredited by the Commission for Florida Law Enforcement Accreditation (CFA) and the Florida Corrections Accreditation Commission (FCAC). The Public Safety Communications Center is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and through the National/International Academies for Emergency Dispatch, obtaining accreditation for Medical Dispatch in 2004 and Fire Dispatch in 2009.