Tweet from the Beat: Operation Safe Shopper 

NEWS RELEASE 18-205 - DECEMBER 17, 2018
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The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office invites community members to take part in a virtual ride-along beginning at 2:00 p.m., Tuesday, December 18.

Known globally as a “Tweet from the Beat”, the initiative sparked as law enforcement agencies began engaging social media followers through virtual ride-alongs as a tool for community outreach. The sheriff’s office launched their inaugural “Tweet from the Beat” in September 2016. The purpose of the program is to give community members a look at policing in real-time while exposing how challenging and dynamic a shift can be. A member of the agency’s Community Affairs Office accompanies a deputy for up to 12 hours to take photos and videos to share on the agency’s social media accounts in real time. “Tweet from the Beat: Operation Safe Shopper” will focus on heavily populated shopping areas in north Sarasota County. Deputies will be specifically looking for citizens practicing safe shopping techniques like locking their car doors and hiding valuables out of sight. Agency personnel will educate the community about theft prevention and how to avoid crimes of opportunity.

One of the major thoroughfares and shopping districts in Sarasota County is University Town Center and as such, will be a focus during the initiative. Members of the media are invited to stop by to get photos and video of personnel interacting with members of the community.

“This is a very busy time of year for citizens and law enforcement alike,” commented Sheriff Tom Knight. “While we love celebrating the holiday season in Sarasota County, this is time of year when thieves are looking to take advantage of distracted shoppers. We hope by surprising shoppers who are practicing good personal safety, we will inspire them to practice those same habits every day of the year.”

To follow along during Operation Safe Shopper, citizens can create a Twitter account by visiting www.Twitter.com/SignUp and following the sheriff’s office account @SarasotaSheriff. Photos and videos will also be posted to the sheriff’s office Facebook and Instagram accounts.