Controversial BBQ to be held Saturday

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SARASOTA, Fla. -The Sarasota Police Department will host a neighborhood block party Saturday as a community-building event near where a police officer was recently attacked.

The neighborhood block party and barbecue will be held on 23rd Street between Leon Avenue and Orange Avenue, from 12:30 p.m. until 2:30 p.m. There will be hot dogs, popcorn, drinks, a children’s bounce house and music provided by a local DJ.

“This type of event is the basis of community policing. This event is not to feed and entertain the criminals in the neighborhood. It is for the law abiding citizens who live there and want a safe community. It is designed for us to engage each other in a friendly environment. This will allow us to meet the neighbors, establish a personal relationship and build trust,” says Chief Bernadette DiPino.

Some have criticized the Chief's decision to hold a party for residents at the site of the violent scuffle between a Sarasota Police officer and Peter John Porter.