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The Sarasota County Sheriff 's Office's February saturation patrols resulted in eight DUI arrests and 118 citations for other traffic offenses, the office has announced. These numbers do not include DUI arrests made during the month outside that specific initiative, a news release points out. The office conducts the monthly saturation patrols "to remove dangerous, uninsured or impaired drivers from local roadways to keep motorists safe," the release notes. "Because of our commitment to keep the public aware of these ongoing education and enforcement efforts, results are provided at the end of each month and dates for the next month's activity are announced," the release adds. Saturation patrols are conducted instead of what is referred to as a "DUI checkpoint," it continues; they include a number of Patrol and Traffic division deputies working targeted zones at the same time to monitor driving activity. "Because of their design, saturation patrols are mobile and take place in different areas of the county," the release notes. This month, saturation patrols will be con- ducted on March 8, 17, 22 and 29, the release adds. Patrols were also conducted on March 1. This is an initiative in partnership with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the release explains; it is supported through a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation. SHERIFF'S OFFICE MAKES EIGHT DUI ARRESTS DURING SATURATION PATROLS The Sarasota Police Department has started a new program in an attempt to curtail the solicitation of prostitution on the streets of the City of Sarasota, the department has announced. Beginning March 4, prostitution advisory letters were sent to registered vehi- cle owners (business and residential) whose vehicles might have been observed at a loca- tion where complaints of suspected criminal activity have originated, a news release says. The letter tells the registered owner, "Your vehicle was observed on (this date) at an area within the city limits of Sarasota known for prostitution related crimes. The driver or occupant of your vehicle engaged in conver- sation with either: (1) a known prostitute (an individual who has been previously convicted of a violation of Florida States 796.07) or (2) an undercover law enforcement officer pos- ing as a prostitute." This is "an advisory letter and not an accu- satory letter," the news release points out, adding that it "is for informational purposes and no criminal charges are pending against anyone involved." Each registered vehicle owner who receives such a letter is given a case number generated while an officer was documenting the inci- dent, along with contact information for Sgt. Demetri Konstantopoulos with the Sarasota Police Department Street Crimes Unit, the release adds. "It's another tool for us to put in our tool- box for the fight against prostitution," Chief Bernadette DiPino says in the release. "The Sarasota Police Department is taking a 'No Tolerance' stance on prostitution. The City of Sarasota is [a] beautiful place and community members are working to revitalize the North [Tamiami] Trail. We're trying to change [the] reputation of the North Trail, and in order to do that, we're going to take drastic measures to deter prostitution in the city." POLICE TRYING NEW APPROACH TO CURB PROSTITUTION Sarasota News Leader March 7, 2014 Page 100

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