Wind hits sustained 45 mph in the city.
Winds rising to 45 mph this afternoon prompted Sarasota Police and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office to order their officers and deputies back to base.
Since midnight, the Sheriff's Office reported receiving 1,673 calls for service.
Likewise, in Manatee County, law enforcement officers have been pulled into shelters for safety.
While officers are off the road, calls are logged and prioritized for later response.
"First responders cannot help you until after the storm,'' said E.J. McCrane, Sarasota County Emergency Management chief. "We hope you heeded our warnings."
Hurricane Irma made landfall in Marco Island around 3:30 p.m. Naples has been hit with 100+ mph winds. Weather radar shows a solid shield of heavy rain rotating from northeast to southwest across the area.
Degrading weather conditions have led to more than 43,000 power outages. About 3,000 of them have been restored.