Sheriff's Office to Host Virtual Ride-Along on Siesta Key

NEWS RELEASE #: 17-064

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The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office invites community members to take part in a virtual ride-along during spring break on Siesta Key, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, March 10.

Known globally as a "Tweet from the Beat", law enforcement agencies around the world began offering virtual ride-alongs via social media as tool for community outreach. The sheriff's office launched their inaugural "Tweet from the Beat" in September 2016. The purpose of the program is to give community members a look at policing in real-time from the passenger seat of a patrol vehicle, while exposing how challenging and dynamic a shift can be. A member of the agency's Community Affairs Office accompanies a deputy for as long as 12 hours to take photos and videos and post them to the agency's Twitter account in real time. During past ride-alongs, followers have watched as deputies responded to traffic crashes, burglaries and even overdoses.

"There is no such thing as a 'routine' shift in law enforcement," said Community Affairs Director Kaitlyn Perez. "By putting community members in the passenger seat of a cruiser, we are exposing them to how we define full-service and contemporary policing. What we hope people get out of this experience is a more robust understanding of the challenges law enforcement face on a daily basis and how so much of the work they do comes back to solving social issues; not just fighting crime."

To follow along during Friday's "Tweet from the Beat", citizens can create a Twitter account by visiting www.Twitter.com/signup and following the sheriff's office account @SarasotaSheriff.