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Sarasota Police and residents meet to discuss gun violence in Newtown

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SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - In the wake of a series of shootings in Northern Sarasota, police will again hold a 'Stop the Violence' discussion tonight in Newtown. 

This is the second "Stop the Violence" forum that will be held at the Robert L. Taylor Community Complex within the last few weeks. 

Sarasota Police Department wants to continue the conversation of gun violence from its last meeting in May.

Law enforcement responded to at least 7 shootings in Newtown since May 8th and at least 17 since the beginning of the year.

Chief Bernadette Dipino will focus on five primary areas to stop gun violence. They include legislative initiatives, mental health, education, community engagement and prevention.

ABC spoke with Chief Dipino, she says today she will be sharing information she received at a gun violence seminar last week in Washington D.C.

"Coming from the seminar we recognized gun violence is one of those things that it is going on all over the country. I'm hoping by doing these different meetings and really analyzing gun violence on why it takes place, who is carrying guns, why they're carrying guns will help us to mitigate the gun violence", say Chief Dipino.

She says although Sarasota's crime rate is very low compared to other communities across the country,  one shooting or one homicide is far too many.

"What we want to do is work with the community and have them help us identify the individuals committing crimes or carrying guns illegally", says Dipino. 

Tonight's forum is between 6:30 pm and 8 pm tonight.

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