Plans underway for new Sarasota Sheriff's Office - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Plans underway for new Sarasota Sheriff's Office

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Pics of the site being considered for a new Sarasota Sheriff's Office Pics of the site being considered for a new Sarasota Sheriff's Office
SARASOTA COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Sarasota County commissioners have ordered a team to begin plans for a new Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Tom Knight says a new headquarters is badly needed.

"Our facilities are way out of date," said Sheriff Knight.  Knight also says the main office is too small. Crowded cubicles fill some rooms.

"We're still getting it done, we find ways but that costs money to find ways," Knight said.

Their evidence rooms are packed to the brim.  In fact, sometimes the smell of drugs can be so potent, they have to use air scrubbers.

"We really shouldn't have a device like this in an evidence property room," Knight said.  "When we take down large drug rings, we get grow houses. We bring in numerous amounts of plants out of a grow house, you can smell the fumes in this building. It's not healthy for the employees, plus we have a difficult time storing it."

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office also has facilities spread across the county. Knight says all these issues make it difficult to properly do their work, but a new solution could be found in a new proposed facility on Cattlemen Road.

On Tuesday, county commissioners decided to move forward with an action plan to build a new Sheriff's Office next to a new emergency operations center, near Interstate 75.

Different county agencies are drawing up plans and discussing what finances are needed for a new Sheriff's Office.

Along with the opportunity for a bigger space, the sheriff says a new headquarters here makes sense from a geographical standpoint.

"[The new facility] puts us very close to the interstate system, makes us much more accessible to the populations of North Port and Venice," says Knight.

Knight says Sarasota is a nice county, and its citizens deserve a nice Sheriff's Office.

The commissioners will decide on the project at a future meeting.

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