Partnership with the community is a key component to crime prevention. For residents who want to work with others to protect their homes, there are two distinct options: Citizens Patrol and Neighborhood Watch. The main way these programs differ is one organizes active patrols while the other is a formal process of vigilance and communication. To learn more about any of these volunteer opportunities, contact Crime Prevention at 941.861.4084 or download the application at the bottom of this page.
The Citizens Patrol program was first organized by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office in 1976. The original nucleus of five patrols and 500 volunteers has grown to its present impressive strength of significant involvement by the majority of subdivisions throughout Sarasota County.
With the Citizens Patrol, resident members of a community must assist law enforcement officials in the fight against crime. Each Citizens Patrol is supervised by a liaison deputy of the Sheriff’s Office who monitors the performances of patrols, conducts orientation of new volunteers and provides refresher training for veteran patrol members.
The Sheriff's Office will furnish a cell phone to each Citizens Patrol group for use in connection with the program.
The goal of the Neighborhood Watch program is to enhance neighborhood security, heighten the community's power of observation and to encourage mutual assistance and concern among neighbors. The main objective is to improve citizen awareness of burglaries and provide information to reduce their occurrence.
The Neighborhood Watch program trains citizens in regard to better property security, develops a neighborhood action program where neighbors help watch each other's properties and report suspicious persons and activities to law enforcement agencies, and enlists each residence in the Operation Identification program.