Captain Paul Sutton to serve as acting police chief

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SARASOTA, FL. - Captain Paul Sutton will serve as Acting Police Chief for one month effective tomorrow Saturday, December 1.

He was appointed by City Manager Tom Barwin to replace Chief Mikel Hollaway who is retiring today prior to the arrival of newly appointed Chief Bernadette DiPino. Along with overseeing the day-to-day operations, Captain Sutton will organize a City Manager’s City-County Homeless Advisory Task Force.

Mr. Barwin also appointed former Sarasota Chief of Police John Lewis as the Chief’s Transition Advisor to incoming Chief DiPino and the City Manager. Chief Lewis served as Chief from 1989-2000. He has been tasked with providing a comprehensive report in 30 days detailing what changes need to occur at SPD to make the department the best trained law enforcement agency in Florida and the southern United States. “Chief Lewis has the familiarity, expertise and background to hit the ground running Monday,” said Mr. Barwin. “He assisted the City with the selection process for the next Chief of Police and I have every confidence that he is up to the task of providing insight into much needed training improvements at the SPD.”

Mr. Barwin also assigned Captain Paul Sutton to spearhead a City Manager’s City-County Homeless Advisory Task Force. The Task Force will meet every other week for 90 days seeking immediate stop-gap solutions, particularly dealing with substance abuse and mental health issues. “I want to thank Captain Sutton for accepting these interim assignments. He has served with the SPD for almost 29 years. With his vast knowledge of the department and the community he will be able to step in and serve us well.”

Mr. Barwin also announced he will hold office hours at Police Headquarters, 2099 Adams Lane, every Thursday during December from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. He will meet with the community, police officers, the Chief’s Transition Advisor as well as the Acting Chief.

Originally scheduled to retire in October, Chief Hollaway postponed his retirement for one month to assist with the transition. “I want to express my sincere gratitude to Chief Hollaway for his continued service to the community beyond his scheduled retirement date,” said Mr. Barwin. “His 30 years of service and commitment to public safety and improving the quality of life in Sarasota is to be commended.”

Captain Sutton will serve as Acting Chief until January 1, 2013 when Chief DiPino arrives in Sarasota to begin her new position. Captain Sutton is the SPD Public Information Officer, working with the media and community on policing issues.

Chief DiPino was appointed in October to replace Chief Hollaway. She currently serves as the Chief of Police in Ocean City, Maryland.

For more information contact City Manager Tom Barwin: 941-954-4115.