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A SAFETY INITIATIVE Sarasota County Sheriff's deputies explain traffic regulations to a group of Amish women in Pinecraft. Photo courtesy Sheriff's Office REPRESENTATIVES OF THE SARASOTA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE WORK WITH AMISH AND MENNONITE VISITORS TO EXPLAIN TRAFFIC RULES Staff Reports If passersby noticed an unusually strong Sarasota County Sheriff's Office presence in Pinecraft on Jan. 15, the reason was not a crime wave but an effort to educate Amish and Mennonite visitors about the traffic regulations with which all residents and tourists must abide in the name of safety. Sgt. Darrell Seckendorf, a commander in the Special Operations Division of the Sheriff's Office's Traffic/Motor Unit, explained that the primary focus was violations involving crosswalks. Officers were in the community for four hours, he said. of Business and Economic Development, explained to the County Commission that the population of Pinecraft, which was established about 50 years ago, increases approximately 60 percent during high season. Amish and Mennonite visitors make the community their winter home, just as other tourists come to Sarasota County for the warmer weather. However, Pinecraft is in the heart of urban Sarasota, along a portion of Bahia Vista Street that is bisected by Beneva Road, Mast pointed out. The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office already had been working closely with county staff In September 2012, Teresa Mast, the business on safety issues in the community prior to her relations coordinator in the county's Office presentation, she told the commissioners.

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