Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Police Chief Jane Castor gets prosthetic fingertip


When Tampa police Chief Jane Castor moves her hand, it is hard to spot the fake fingertip.

Her new silicon prosthetic, which fits on top of her right pointer finger, looks astonishingly like the rest. It even has a fingerprint that matches her other pointer's.

On Monday, Castor went to Westcoast Brace & Limb to pick up her just-finished prosthetic. She'd lived with a shortened finger for more than four months — ever since she accidently severed the tip just above her upper knuckle while on her boat.

She had to learn how to pull her sidearm and fire with her middle finger. She'd struggled with typing. She still hopes to learn how to play the piano.

"It looks good," Castor said, checking out her hand. "Actually, it's amazing."

The police chief has scoffed at the community's interest in her finger. She told reporters at a July news conference that the situation wasn't newsworthy.

But the science and art behind the prosthetic? That she likes.

She was so fascinated by it all that she brought her sons to Westcoast Brace & Limb on Sunday so that they could check out the in-house lab, where employees make braces and prosthetic parts from scratch.

They can make — or customize — whatever they want because of that lab, explained Westcoast's Jennifer Robinson. Recently, they built a specialized arm for a new mother so that she could safely lift her baby from its crib.

Robinson's husband, David Robinson, made Castor's fingertip. He has a bachelor's degree in studio art and can mold models and apply color theory to make prosthetics look real.

He made a plastic prototype for Castor based on the inverse of her left pointer finger. Then, with Castor sitting next to him last week, he mixed pigment with silicon and painted it to look like her other fingers. Then he added an acrylic nail.

"I can even paint it," the chief joked, knowing that's not her style.

Mostly, she's pleased she'll be able to type with ease again.

"That and picking things up — a lot of the functions you take for granted," she said. "I have that all back now. It's nice."

Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Police Chief Jane Castor gets prosthetic fingertip 11/04/13 [Last modified: Monday, November 4, 2013 10:49pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Sheriff's office identifies woman shot by Hernando deputies after brandishing shotgun


    BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County Sheriff's Office has identified the woman who was shot by deputies who say she was suicidal when she pointed a shotgun at them on Sunday.

  2. Mike Evans supports Michael Bennett's protest


    Bucs receiver Mike Evans was signing autographs for children after Bucs practice on Saturday. As he signed, he talked about Seattle defensive and former Buc Michael Bennett, who last Friday sat during the national anthem and who says he will continue to do so to fight racial injustice.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans (13) comes down with a catch during practice at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. Bucs position battles; Defining the receiver competition


    TAMPA — The Bucs' top four receivers are etched in granite with Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, Adam Humphries and rookie Chris Godwin.

    Bucs wide receiver Josh Huff makes a juggling catch as cornerback Robert McClain closes in Tuesday at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Pinellas aims to close reading gap between boys and girls


    Principal Kristy Cantu pored over Sutherland Elementary's test scores last year, looking for trends.

    Pinellas County teachers are being asked this year to pay closer attention to how their lessons might better engage boys. The district has come up with a "gender equity self-reflection" rubric for teachers to follow, with the goal of improving boys' performance in English language arts. [SCOTT KEELER | Times]
  5. Photo of the Day for August 21, 2017 - Trapped Under a Rainbow

    Human Interest

    'Trapped Under a Rainbow,' today's Photo of the Day, comes from Patti Presnell of Valrico, FL.