VENICE, FL - A new year and new changes for law enforcement in south county. Starting Thursday night the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office will begin to take over all emergency calls in the city of Venice.
At first it will be late night and into the early morning. It should take a few months before they are handling all calls.
Also Thursday the south county jail as it's known will be shutting down. Sheriff Tom Knight saying the demand for the facility just isn't there. All agencies will now have to drive prisoners to downtown Sarasota individually.
Venice Police Chief Tom McNulty says they're not sure of the impact of taking more officers off the streets to transport. "We are going to assess it. We are going to give it a month or two and see if it has an impact at all. It may not. At the same time I have assigned a captain and a lieutenant to come up with a plan where we can redeploy personnel so we have extra people during our historically high times of the day for arrests."
The Sheriff says he will use the million dollars a year the south county holding facility costs and redirect to areas of need.
We will have much more on this story coming up this evening on ABC 7.