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Police shootings result in volunteer surge at Sarasota P.D.

Posted: 5:25 PM, Jul 22, 2016
Updated: 2016-07-22 21:34:37Z
Maggie shaw is a volunteer with the Sarasota Police Department. She said recent police shootings make her want to volunteer even more than she already does.
 
"My heart was sickened by that and it made me want to step up even more," said Shaw.
 
Once or twice a week she directs traffic, looks for suspicious activity, and answers questions about parking. The volunteer coordinator said the volunteers often lighten the work load for officers.
 
"They help in support roles, they might help administratively in roles, where they do something to free up an officer to go back to patrolling," said Michelle Rinaca.
 
Rinaca said the department has seen a 15-percent surge in people wanting to volunteer. She currently has about seventy volunteers.
 
"Our volunteers come from all walks of life, a lot of them have no experience in law enforcement," said Rinaca.  
 
She said the program saves the department about $400,000 a year.
 
Volunteers at the Sarasota Police Department must be over the age of 18 and complete a background check.
 
Click here to find out more information about volunteering.