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Sarasota County Sheriff's Office (Florida)

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James A. Forrest

About the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office

The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office is a full service law enforcement and corrections provider.  As an example, the Sarasota County Sheriffs Office patrols a county of approximately 500 square miles with a population of more than 350,000 people. The patrol bureaus three shifts respond to more than 100,000 calls for service each year.  Within their law enforcement services they provide airborne law enforcement to all city and county governmental agencies within Sarasota County.


They are also a very progressive agency, instituting several cutting-edge programs in law enforcement and inmate supervision.  As an example, they participate in the corrections style known as “Direct Supervision.”  According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, Direct Supervision is the wave of the future for jails. It is a progressive jail behavior management system that has gained rapid acceptance in the past 20 years across the nation. Detention facilities that use direct supervision have significantly lower rates of assaults, extortions, and lawsuits than the traditional "linear" style of jail management. Direct supervision allows for less expensive construction due to the improved behavior of inmates.


With the direct supervision model, the Corrections Deputy is continually supervising inmates by offering rewards by consequences. The deputy works within a "pod" or living area and is in direct control of the inmates. The direct supervision management style manages behavior in a positive manner. Positive expectation of conduct is evidence of the physical design of the facility. Deviation from the expected positive behavior results in progressive disciplinary loss of privileges


In addition to their unique corrections program, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office has incorporated the current academic thinking on Situational Crime Prevention, Environmental Crime Prevent and Crime Analysis into their operations.  They developed Sheriff's Timely Analysis & Response Targeting Resources Against Crime (STARTRAC), to allow their “agency to quickly identify and track crime trends, quality of life issues in our agency.  This process enables us to direct the appropriate resources to resolve them, in a timely manner, before they become major problems.


The core principals of STARTRAC are: Accurate and timely intelligence; Effective tactics; Rapid deployment of resources; Through follow-up & assessment; and, Accountability


Bureau commanders appear before the STARTRAC Board every six weeks to report on activities within their commands and to answer questions from the board. Commanders are held accountable for those activities under their command, from crime problems to budget issues and everything in between. The STARTRAC Board consists of the Sheriff, Colonel, and the Majors.


The STARTRAC Unit is responsible for receiving and reviewing the reports from the bureau commanders, conducting follow-up inquiries on those reports, creating the STARTRAC presentations for each STARTRAC session, and conducting the presentations.”




Selected book from an Sarasota County Sheriff's Office law enforcement official.

Eye of the Storm
James A. Forrest  More Info

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