City Commission endorses Sarasota Police Foundation

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SARASOTA-- The Foundation at the center of some controversial comments made by the city of Sarasota's Mayor, now has the city's blessing, along with that same Mayor.

The Sarasota City Commission voted 5-0 Monday night to endorse the Sarasota Police Department Foundation. The Foundation, made up of non police-affiliated board members, will seek donations and provide them to the Department for events and items to benefit the officers and community.

"I truly believe this will help keep our community safe and make it even safer in the future," said Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino after Monday's meeting.

The biggest surprise of the evening was when Mayor Shannon Snyder voted in favor of the Foundation. Less than a month ago, Snyder compared the Foundation to a "slush fund."

Snyder, who declined to be interviewed on camera after the meeting, told ABC 7 he was satisfied the organization would be completely independent from the Department.

"I think once everyone understood it was an independent organization that would drive its own future without the city (police) managing it, that cleared the air," said City Manager Tom Barwin.

DiPino said she was "very pleased" by the way Snyder voted.