Homeless Outreach Teams and volunteer ambassadors recognized
The Homeless Outreach Team (HOT) Program and the Volunteer Ambassador Program of the Sarasota Police Department have been honored by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), the organization has notified Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino.
The Police Department has won the 2017 IACP Leadership in Human and Civil Rights Award for the HOT Program and the 2017 IACP/Body Worn Leadership in Law Enforcement Volunteer Program Award for the department’s ambassadors program, a news release says.
The Human and Civil Rights Award “recognizes that protection of civil and constitutional rights is among the foremost responsibilities of police in democratic societies,” the release explains. “As a result, the Human and Civil Rights Committee seeks to recognize programs and law enforcement efforts that exemplify the protection and promotion of civil and human rights,” the release adds. “The mission of the Sarasota Police Department Homeless Outreach Team Program fully integrates the best practice of community policing, the enforcement of the rule of law and the decriminalization efforts of diversion and deployment of social services needed to protect and serve the at-risk, vulnerable population of the homeless,” the release explains.
The IACP/BodyWorn Leadership in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award “recognizes volunteer programs that demonstrate innovative, effective practices for augmenting sworn or civilian staff and/or improving service delivery to their communities,” the release adds. The Sarasota Police Department Volunteer Ambassador Program provides qualified volunteers to assist the department “in maintaining and improving the quality of service provided to the City of Sarasota,” the release notes. “In 2016, volunteers contributed 18,101 hours,” the release continues, saving the department and city $400,000 as a result of these in-kind services.
“This is a highly prestigious honor on an international level for our agency,” said DiPino in the release.
DiPino will be traveling to the 2017 IACP conference in Philadelphia in October to accept the awards, the release adds.