After 33 years with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Col. Albert Frost is retiring. His last day is today.
Frost, originally from Kentucky, joined the department shortly after serving in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam.
When he returned to the United States, he got a job with UPS, where one of his tasks was delivering guns to the Sheriff's Office. He applied for a job and a few months later was accepted.
He currently oversees the Department of Investigative Services, which includes the child protective division, undercover work, narcotics and homicide investigations.
"It's extremely emotional," he said recently. "I've known my sheriff and my chief deputy for over 30 years. … We've kind of grown up together."
Though he doesn't take full credit, he said he considers modernizing the department part of his legacy.
The intelligence-led policing program, known as LINC, was his idea. It launched about three years ago and since then, analysts at LINC have synthesized sheriff's reports, Internet posts and other information to try to predict crimes and catch criminals in the act.
The Sheriff's Office credits LINC with a reduction in crime in the county.
Still, when Frost lists some of his most notable moments, he goes back years earlier. He remembers, for example, interviewing a man about a string of robberies and getting an unexpected murder confession.
And one time, he wrote a school bus driver a ticket for falling asleep at the wheel and causing a crash. The event made the news the next day because there had been children on the bus.
"I remember thinking 'holy smokes, I hope I wrote a good report,' " he said.
Though Frost is retiring from the Sheriff's Office, he doesn't plan to stop working.
He and his wife will move to Knoxville, Tenn., where their only child, a 32-year-old son, lives. They have a house on a lake there and Frost plans to spend a couple of months boating, fishing and swimming.
He says he's looking into some job opportunities in Tennessee, including one in law enforcement.
But he also is considering starting his own business — maybe something with his son.
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 226-3433.