Shake up at the Sarasota Police Department

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Posted: Thursday, July 25, 2013 6:46 pm | Updated: 1:50 pm, Tue Jan 28, 2014.

Sarasota, FL--- Despite efforts to ramp up training at the Sarasota Police Department, training manager Ron Rossnagle was terminated.

"We have numerous untrained officers out there and I know because I am the training manager," said Ron Rossnagle.

Up until July 23, Rossnagle was responsible for training at the Sarasota police department.

"We have over 30 or 40 officers on the night shift that have never been trained in the pit maneuver or high speed pursuit, they've never been trained,"added Rossnagle. 

He says when Chief Bernadette DiPino joined the department she came with a new directive to get every officer 80 hours of training. Rossnagle, was tasked with putting that plan together but days after turning in the two year strategy he was let go.

"Its a personal attack and its fear base policing," said Rossnagle.

We reached out to the police department and they deny the claim.

"Its very unfortunate what happened and definitely not a personal attack on him. Right now Sarasota Police Department is restructuring and changes are being made.  And just like anywhere else everyone is not always going to be happy with change,"  said Sarasota PIO Genevieve Judge.

Last week the police department let go of several employees, but Rossnagle says he wasn't included in that lay off.  In fact, he says his position remains budgeted for until October 1st. Which has led him to come up with his own explanation for the termination.   

"She wants to get rid of anybody that has more knowledge than her that will challenge her.  Not challenge her but give her another perspective of something or say something like you may not want to do that because of x,y,z," added Rossnagle.

With 32 years of service Rossnagle says he was the senior most employee at the department.  And, he says despite his years of dedication, he wasn't shown any courtesy.

"We gave our everything to this agency she came in and in 6 months destroyed peoples careers, including mine," said Rossnagle.

In addition to losing his job Rossnagle could face criminal charges for vandalism because as he was being escorted out of the police department he punched a hole in the dry wall and throw a chair.

In the mean time the Sarasota Police Department says they will continue moving forward with their commitment to increase training for all officers and that Rossnagle duties will be taken over by another officer.

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