The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office and the Sarasota Police Department today announced the results of a joint operation designed to reduce crime in North Sarasota and enhance the safety of its residents.
Using the Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Led Policing model, both agencies shared information on recent incidents, criminal activity and crime trends to develop a strategy to address the threat of violence, paying particular attention to known offenders.
This month-long operation provided a sudden and dramatic increase in law enforcement presence to enhance apprehension efforts for specific crimes within a defined area of North Sarasota. The goal was to eliminate the perception that this area of our community is an environment that is supportive of criminal behavior. The results:
- 181 Total arrests
- 294 Charges (149 Felonies/145 Misdemeanors)
- 12 Weapons seized
Of greater concern is the arrest history of many of these offenders. Of the 181 subjects arrested, they shared a combined 1,509 prior felony arrests and 1,932 prior misdemeanor arrests. Only a fraction of those cases resulted in convictions, and while many of these subjects served jail time few have spent time in prison for their crimes.
“Under the current dynamics of the system it is clear that we cannot arrest our way out of this issue,” said Sheriff Tom Knight. “That said, we will continue to perform our law enforcement function and arrest those who choose to break the law.”
Chief Mikel Hollaway added, “Law enforcement is only part of the solution. To truly make a difference in North Sarasota it will take a strong commitment from everyone to enhance the quality of life we expect. It is necessary to hold each other accountable for what we must achieve. Failure is not an option.”
Both agency leaders agreed the criminal justice system and community members must help support law enforcement efforts to keep prolific offenders out of North Sarasota.
To watch the news conference on the Sheriff's Office YouTube channel click here.