Lee Williams wrote:Tom Knight met with the Sarasota, Venice, North Port and Longboat Key chiefs, and presented a Memorandum of Understanding for them to read and sign.
Acting on the advice of attorneys, the Sarasota Police Department rejected the sheriff's proposal.
At Knight's order, all of the Sarasota Police officers who were cross-deputized had to surrender their deputy sheriff ID cards.
Sarasota City Attorney Robert Fournier, who advised Sarasota Chief of Police Mikel Holloway to reject the sheriff's proposal, said the new requirements would strip the city of its sovereign immunity and expose it to unlimited liability, while insulating the sheriff and his staff from the threat of lawsuits.
One requirement is for the city officers to promise not to sue the sheriff or the department, a sort of blanket immunity regardless of the cause or circumstances, even if an officer is injured by a deputy sheriff.