NEWS RELEASE 20-073 - MAY 21, 2020
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is enhancing crime prevention efforts again this year during the Memorial Day Weekend while also strongly encouraging residents to take precautions at the recommendation of local and state health officials.
“This is a unique holiday weekend for communities around the country, so we are taking a practical approach by encouraging Memorial Day celebrations while still making sure our residents are mindful of COVID-19,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “We expect to see more people out and about, and as such, will be enhancing our law enforcement presence as well.”
Residents are encouraged to keep the following Memorial Day safety tips in mind if they are headed to a public place like a beach, park, or shopping center:
• Never leave valuables in an unattended vehicle. If necessary, secure them in a locked trunk.
• Obey traffic signals and speed limits, avoid any distractions.
• Utilize crosswalks and sidewalks. Make your presence known to motorists.
• Have a designated driver or utilize a taxi service if you plan to consume alcohol.
• Be observant and always report any and all suspicious activity.
At this time, all county beaches are open to the public however, beachgoers are still expected to practice safe social distancing. Beach parking lots will be monitored by law enforcement to regulate ingress and egress, reduce traffic crashes, and overcrowding. If you plan to head to the beach, consider ride-sharing options and only park in permitted areas. Parking will be strictly enforced, and illegally parked vehicles will be cited.
Citizens should continue following recommendations made by state officials including at restaurants and other public areas, to best protect themselves from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19. Under Florida State Statute 252.47, violation of the governor’s orders is punishable by a second-degree misdemeanor and a fine up to $500. Sheriff’s office personnel will continue to educate residents before taking enforcement action whenever possible.
To connect with the sheriff’s office over the holiday weekend, residents are encouraged to utilize the agency’s non-emergency line at 941.316.1201. Citizens can submit crime tips, receive traffic alerts and local weather updates through the agency’s free mobile app available for download on both iPhone and Android devices. Citizens can also connect with the sheriff’s office on social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.