Sarasota County is a county located on the west coast of the state of Florida. As of the 2010 census, the population was 379,448. The city of Sarasota is the county seat. North Port is the largest city in Sarasota County. A majority (over 60%) of Sarasota County’s residents live in unincorporated areas outside of the four municipalities of Sarasota County.

Sarasota County is included in the North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Sarasota County has a total area of 725 square miles, of which 556 square miles is land and 169 square miles (23.4%) is water.


North Port

Longboat Key



The Sarasota County Fire Department (SCFD) provides fire services to the City of Sarasota and all unincorporated areas of the county with the exception of areas covered by the Nokomis and Englewood fire districts. Additionally, SCFD provides EMS service to the City of Sarasota, all unincorporated areas of the county (including areas covered by the Nokomis and Englewood fire districts) plus the city of Venice.


The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office (SSO) is the county’s primary law enforcement agency. SSO is responsible for patrolling the unincorporated areas of the county along with operating the county’s jail and providing courtroom security. SSO also operates the county’s primary 911 center. SSO provides a 911 Dispatch Log for its citizens — refreshed every 15 minutes.

The cities of Sarasota, North Port and Venice along with the Town of Longboat Key each have their own police departments. The Florida Highway Patrol is responsible for patrolling FDOT maintained roads in the county (Florida State Highway System) and investigating motor vehicle accidents that occur in unincorporated areas.

Three specialist law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction in the county: the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport Police Department, the New College/USF Sarasota-Manatee Campus Police Department and the Seminole Gulf Railway (SGLR) Police Department. Each agency has jurisdiction in neighboring Manatee County as well; each agency’s properties extend into that county.


Manatee County – north
DeSoto County – east
Charlotte County – south