The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday that it is stepping up patrols at area beaches and entertainment establishments in anticipation of spring break.
An increased law enforcement presence at specific areas is intended to preemptively disrupt incidents and deter criminal activity. The Sheriff's Office announced that deputies will be extra vigilant for underage drinking and drug possession, as well as traffic enforcement.
"We want to ensure that residents continue to enjoy their community as we experience the annual influx of spring visitors," Sherrif's Office spokeswoman Wendy Rose said. "Safety is our top priority so the goal is that our increased presence prevents incidents from happening by being proactive, as we do each year."
The Sheriff's Office offered a series of safety tips for area residents and visitors during the spring break period, which lasts from early March through the middle of April:
* Lock the doors and windows at your place of lodging.
* Don’t leave valuables in your room. Lock them in a safe if possible.
* Always carry wallets, purses, room and car keys securely. Keep your room key in a safe place on your person when at the hotel pool, bar or dining room.
* Watch out for traffic when crossing the street and use designated crosswalks.
* When driving, obey speed limits and watch for pedestrians.
* Lock your vehicle at all times, when parked and when traveling in it.
* Keep valuables out of sight at all times. Lock them in the trunk, glove box or console. Covering them with a blanket or clothing does not deter criminals.
* When at the beach, never leave valuables unattended.
* Never go out alone and don’t ever leave a public place with a stranger.
* Be observant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement, security personnel or hotel management.
* Don’t advertise your plans to strangers.
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