ABC7: Sarasota County Sheriff to close its South County facility

ABC7: Sarasota County Sheriff to close its South County facility

SARASOTA (WWSB) - The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced the South County office closing on March 4.

Sheriff Tom Knight said in a press release on Friday, March 1 that social media has made it easier than ever to contact law enforcement.

“I am very proud of my staff who continue to look for new and smarter ways to serve the public,” said Sheriff Knight. “If we want to continue to be successful, we have to stay progressive and constantly look for ways to improve. By relieving the south county desk, there will be more boots on the ground and by all accounts, that is something our citizens are always eager to see.”

The press release stated the following: “Beginning March 4, as a result of continued analysis, evolving technology, and citizen needs, the south county sheriff’s office facility along S.R. 776 in Venice, will be permanently closed.”

The agency’s Sarasota headquarters will become the primary location for citizens to visit a front desk deputy.

Some residents concerned about the closure of the walk-in services at the sheriff’s substation in South Venice

On Monday, March 11 ABC7′s Marla Spence spoke with those who are upset by the elimination of the desk deputy positions. There are many concerns still surrounding the closure of the South Sarasota County Sheriff Substation.

Many people believe they’ll be losing service but the Sarasota Sheriff’s office says that not true. The building that sits behind fire station 22 on Englewood road officially closed to the public a week ago.

Many locals who live in unincorporated south Sarasota county will still be able to access the building, but only if they’re let in by a sheriff’s deputy for an interview, interrogation or if they simply need to speak to a sheriff deputy in person after business hours.

Some residents are a bit frustrated because they say this isn’t enough. If they need to drop off lost property, unused prescription drugs or report a crime they’ll have to drive nearly 35 miles to the north Sarasota county.

Another concern many have is pulling sheriff deputies from other zones to respond to calls in south Sarasota county. The sheriff’s office says that’s not the case. Deputies are already located throughout the entire county including south Venice.

As for the desk deputy positions, the Sheriff’s office tells us they’re re-allocating the positions since the closure. There are now two detective positions openings in south Sarasota county.

Two deputies also now work at the sheriff’s office headquarters front desk where there was just one.

The Sheriff’s Office says residents can make a quick phone call and a deputy will be at their front door to help them with any incident. Instead of driving into North Sarasota County.

Details continue to update.

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