Sarasota Police Department wins FDOT award for commitment to pedestrian and bicycle safety

Officers worked 166 education and enforcement details over 35 weeks

Sarasota Police Chief Bernadette DiPino. Photo courtesy Sarasota Police Department

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has named the Sarasota Police Department the Traffic Unit High Visibility Enforcement Agency of the Year for the Police Department’s “commitment to pedestrian and bicycle safety” throughout the city of Sarasota from August 2019 through May 2020, the Police Department has announced.

The award was presented by Trenda McPherson, the state Bicycle Pedestrian Safety Program manager with Alert Today Florida, a news release notes.

“I’m so proud of Officer Jason Frank and our Traffic Unit and the officers in our department,” said Sarasota Police Department (SPD) Chief Bernadette DiPino in the release. “I’m so proud of their commitment. They care so much about our community and making sure people are safe. I’m honored that we have been selected for this award,” DiPino added in the release.

“It’s not just about writing the tickets,” said Officer Frank of the SPD Traffic Unit in the release. “It’s about educating people and making sure everyone who is in the city of Sarasota or driving through the city is safe. You don’t do yourself any good or your family any good if you don’t make it to where you need to be safely.”

During the High Visibility Enforcement (HVE) program, the release explains, roadways in the city of Sarasota were selected for focus on the basis of motor vehicle crash data involving both pedestrians and bicyclists. “HVE details were funded through a contract with the University of North Florida, in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation’s focused initiative to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety,” the release adds. The goal of the enforcement effort was to increase awareness of, and compliance with, “traffic laws that protect the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists,” the release adds.

During the HVE program, Sarasota Police officers worked 166 education and enforcement details over 35 weeks, resulting in 458 man hours, 1,228 education encounters and 377 enforcement encounters, the release points out. The next HVE program was expected to begin in August.

Video of the Zoom award presentation may be viewed on the Sarasota Police Department’s YouTube page at