Sarasota News Leader


Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 97

Sarasota News Leader June 28, 2013 Page 33 Police are now identifying "second-tier" offenders, who will be offered a second chance to become productive members of the community, or they will face the fate of those in the "first tier." Through the Police Department's use of "deferred prosecution," home visits and "letters of intent," the second-tier violators are being given the opportunity to change their ways at a distance from the criminal justice system. Sarasota Police officers are calling the operation DMI — drug market intervention, and they are focusing on the Newtown area. "After the case is made, those without a history of violence will be called in and be offered options," said Sarasota Police Det. David Grant. "We've been recruiting community partners since last year." 'WE MAKE CASES' Grant pointed out that the offensive is, at its heart, basic police work. "We do what we always do. We make cases," said Grant. "In the past, we've turned people over to the court system, and most received minimum sentences." "The second tier is different. If you dry up the [drug] market, you don't have street violence. That's what we're trying to do," Grant added. The DMI works on two levels, he said. "It is aggressive policing for those selling narcotics," Grant noted. "Theoretically, we want to eliminate hand-to-hand drug sales, because that automatically eliminates the street violence that goes with it." The second prong is taking longer. The police are working to create support in the sur- Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino prepares to address a meeting of the City Coalition of Neighborhood Associations shortly after beginning her tenure early this year. Photo by Stan Zimmerman

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Sarasota News Leader - 06/28/2013