Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight and Sarasota Police Chief Mikel Holloway announced Friday in Sarasota their police forces have teamed together since January to combat crime in North Sarasota, resulting in 181 arrests and 294 charges to date.
Holloway, who is working to combat a growing crime and homicide problem in North Sarasota, asked for Knight’s help last month to start getting repeat offenders off the streets and working with the community to change the community.
“Everyone in the community needs to get involved,” said Holloway, who is heading to High Point, N.C. with Sarasota City Commissioner Willie Shaw later this month to see how a community program has helped reduce crime there by more than 50%. “Sheriff Knight and I were both raised here and will work to protect this county as much as we can.”
Knight agreed to work with Holloway, noting that “there’s more to it than just arresting these habitual offenders.”
Knight said the community must raise up and make sure they never return, noting that only 33% of the arrests made are being convicted on the charges.
“They need to be removed from the community altogether and made it known their activity is not accepted here,” Knight said. “We are committed to making North Sarasota a safer place and a nicer place to live.”
Holloway agreed and warned the operation is just beginning.
“The bad guys haven’t seen the last of us yet,” Holloway said.
In total, the joint operation for January resulted in:
• 181 total arrests
• 294 charges levied against criminals (194 felonies and 145 misdemeanors)
• 12 weapons seized
• 1,509 prior felony arrests
• 472 prior felony convictions
• 1,932 prior misdemeanor arrests
• 621 prior misdemeanor convictions
Contact Kurt Schultheis at [email protected].