Rahul Sharma (Editor)

Sarasota Police Department

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Abbreviation  SPD
Annual budget  $27,000,000~
Formed  1913
Population  67,000
Sarasota Police Department
Legal personality  Governmental: Government agency
Size  26 square miles (67 km) total, 15 square miles (39 km) land

The Sarasota Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency for Sarasota, Florida. It provides police services to 67,000 residents. The Sarasota Police Department operates on a budget of $26,902,601 (2011–2012) with approximately 158 sworn and unsworn personnel and volunteers.



Professional, dedicated police service in partnership with our community.

  • Innovatively and aggressively fighting crime and reducing the fear of crime.
  • Abiding by the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct. Treating each person with dignity and respect while maintaining accountability to the citizenry and each other.
  • Building and reinforcing relationships through communication, commitment and action.
  • Evolving in response to our public safety mandate.
  • Chief of Police

    Chief Bernadette DiPino is currently the Chief of the Sarasota Police Department. Chief DiPino is a 2001 graduate of the F.B.I.’s National Academy, an appointee to the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and a member of the I.A.C.P. Foundation Board and represents the State of Florida Chiefs at the I.A.C.P. State Association of Chiefs of Police (SACOP). She is a past President of the Maryland Chiefs of Police Association and was appointed by the Governor to serve on the Maryland Police Training Commission.

    During her distinguished career, she received numerous Departmental awards and citations; and has been recognized as Police Officer of the Year in 1987, 1993 and 1997.

    Chief DiPino was appointed as Chief of Police of the Sarasota Police Department on December 31, 2012. Chief DiPino began her career as a Police Officer with the Baltimore County Police in September 1985. In April 1998, Chief DiPino joined the Police Department for the Town of Ocean City, Maryland where she rose through the ranks from Narcotics Detective to Chief of Police; a position she held for nearly 10 years.

    The Chief of Police is the executive officer of the Sarasota Police Department and is ultimately responsible for decisions regarding policy, enforcement and use of resources in conjunction with the City Manager and the City Commission. The Chief maintains command authority over all department employees, both sworn and civilian. Her office support staff consists of one full-time executive assistant and one part-time administrative specialist. The Office of the Chief of Police includes:

  • Office of Administrative Captain - which oversees various administrative aspects of the department.
  • Planning and Inspections Unit - which oversees policy changes and resource allotment.
  • Internal Affairs and Complaints (IAC) Section - which oversees any and all allegations of police misconduct and complaints filed on officers.
  • Criminal Investigations Division (CID)

    The primary function of the Criminal Investigation Division is to conduct follow-up investigations of reported crimes. These investigations consist of interviewing suspects, victims and witnesses; analyzing information for validity, reliability and accuracy and compiling a comprehensive and factual case file to be presented in court.

    Support Services Division

    The Support Services Division oversees Training, Background and Recruitment, Property and Evidence, Records, MIS (Management Information Systems), Alarms, Payroll and Personnel, Fiscal and Administration, Fleet, Red Light Camera Program, School Crossing Guards and Quartermaster.

    Patrol Division

    The Patrol Division is commanded by one Captain and one Deputy Commander who holds the rank of Lieutenant. Uniform Patrol Operations, Special Response Units, Crime Prevention and the Sarasota P.D. Volunteer Program are under the Bureau of Patrol Operations.


    The station main police is located at 2099 Adams Lane Sarasota, Florida 34237 All civilian employees and sworn personnel operate from this station.

    Substations include:

  • Gillespie | 710 N. Osprey Avenue Sarasota, FL 34236
  • Whole Foods | 1451 1st Street - parking lot, Sarasota, FL 34236
  • Vehicles

    The department currently owned two Wellcraft Scarab boats to provide service to those in Sarasota Bay. The traffic unit has 12 Harley-Davidson police motorcycles, and each traffic officer is provided with a patrol car. The department uses 2002-2011 Chevrolet Impala police model and several 1998-2001 Crown Victoria Police Interceptors.


    The department issues Glock 22, .40 caliber handguns to all sworn officers.

    Line of duty Deaths

    One local officer has died in the line of duty.

    Sarasota Police Department in the News

    ! |- |Sarasota Police officers honored for actions |March 25, 2014 |}


    Starting in 2007, Officer Joseph Snodgrass and other police officers used official police databases to gather information on his ex-wife's new husband. Snodgrass was disciplined in 2010 for his actions.

    In June 2009, Officer Christopher Childers kicked Juan Perez, who was handcuffed and in police custody, multiple times in the torso. The incident was caught on video. The department initially gave Perez $400 in exchange for him signing a release stating that he would not sue the city. Police Chief Peter Abbot was suspended for two weeks for his mishandling of the incident, and Officer Childers was fired. In November 2011, the department settled Perez's excessive force complaint for $40,000. Officer Childers was later cleared of wrongdoing by a Civil Service Hearing Board, the State Attorney, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and was rehired by the department in 2012.

    In December 2010, a police officer was fired, but escaped criminal prosecution for misusing police computers. Officer Katrina Young gathered information on a person who was having a dispute with Young's cousin. This led to the cousin breaking into the person's home to attack him.

    In April, 2011, police Detective Tom Laughlin was fired after he went to the county courthouse with a strange document he used in an attempt to secede from the United States. He apparently was upset over Obamacare and other political developments.

    In January 2012, police Lieutenant Steven Breakstone was put on administrative leave to allow an investigation of what the local sheriff's department called "escalating bizarre behavior" toward his ex-wife after their divorce. In May 2012, Breakstone was allowed to retire.

    In November 2012, Officer Scott Patrick was fired three months after video tape showed him beating and choking a drunken man outside a night club. A police investigation cleared the officer of any criminal charges.


    Sarasota Police Department Wikipedia