Saturday, December 16, 2017
Public safety

NASCAR inspires look of new Pasco sheriff's patrol cars

NEW PORT RICHEY — It started with NASCAR.

Cpl. Keith Krapfl was watching a race on his living room TV with his son toward the end of last year's racing season. With each pass of the stock cars looping the track, he noticed the logos — these days positioned on the cars' rear quarter panels. The design, he thought, was perfect. Different. Especially on a patrol car.

"Man," he remembers thinking, "what would it look like if that said 'Sheriff'?"

He jumped up from the couch and plopped in front of his computer to open his design program. He spent weeks of his spare time — "more time than I'd like to say" — experimenting with colors, designs and shapes.

Krapfl is an experienced auto artist and deputy. He designed the decal for the Pasco SWAT team's BearCat armored vehicle. He's also on the SWAT team.

In his latest burst of creativity, he drew 15 concept designs. Last year, when Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco decided the agency was due for new patrol cars, the Ford Taurus, he mined his deputies for ideas.

He thought they should have a say in the design because "They're the ones driving the cars."

Within a few months, Nocco had a folder full of designs. Some were colored with pencil. Some were copies of other agencies' designs. Krapfl turned in official-looking designer renderings, fresh off his printer.

Nocco said he would stop people working in the Sheriff's Office and ask them which design they liked most. One stood out almost unanimously, he said.

In green letters streaming off the rear quarter panel are the words "Pasco Sheriff." The sheriff's gold star appears to shoot toward the front.

The older model cars are striped with black, green and gold lines that end in a star on the front door. Below that, "SHERIFF" appears in black across the middle of the car.

Nocco said he chose the Taurus to replace the aging fleet of Chevy Impalas the agency currently uses. As newer cars are phased in, the older ones will go to other employees in the agency.

Decal jobs on the new cars, paid for by the Penny for Pasco, cost $189 per car and were done at Crockett's Auto Body & Repair. Of the 56 that will replace part of the fleet, 13 are on the road now.

Because his design was chosen, Krapfl got the first one.

He said people have been receptive to the new design. Some beep and flash a thumb's up while he's driving. A photo of the new car appeared on the Sheriff's Office's Facebook page, where most commenters praised it.

"Drove past one on Ridge near 19," wrote Zack Ayotte of New Port Richey. "Pretty classy."

"AWESOME!!" wrote Philip Collier of Tarpon Springs.

"Looks like a kids car," wrote Hector Aviles.

Other officers have ribbed Krapfl about the new design, too. "Just cop stuff," he said.

About the design: "It's different," he said. "I don't think you're going to find another Sheriff's Office with a design like that."

Alex Orlando can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6247.

Comments
Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

Firefighters injured after early-morning blaze at Tampa strip mall

TAMPA — Three firefighters were injured early Saturday morning battling a fire at a W Waters Avenue strip mall, according to Tampa Fire Rescue.Firefighters said the two-alarm blaze started in the attic of L.A. Nail Supply at 2:45 a.m. The store is in...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

Pinellas sheriff’s investigator fired, could face criminal charges for involvement in child custody battle

LARGO — A Pinellas sheriff’s child protective investigator has been fired and could face criminal charges after an investigation found she made a child custody recommendation to a judge as a favor to a friend.Jayne Johnson, who has worked for the She...
Published: 12/15/17
Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

Deputies: Plant City men fled in stolen car, shot dog, hid in swamp

DOVER — Two Plant City men who ran from deputies and shot a dog were captured after a brief pursuit Thursday, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.They ditched a stolen car, ran away on foot, crossed through several yards and then tr...
Published: 12/15/17

Tampa bicyclist, 52, dies after being rear-ended by vehicle; no charges

TAMPA — A 52-year-old man riding a bicycle was killed early Friday when he was struck from behind by a car in Seminole Heights, according to Tampa police.The incident took place at about 12:15 a.m. Wayne Kersh, 52, was riding his bicycle in the eastb...
Published: 12/15/17
After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

After third fire at former Ybor City bathhouse, arrest is made

TAMPA — A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday and accused of setting fire to a vacant Ybor City bathhouse hit by arson at least two other times earlier this year.Two Tampa police officers spotted smoke from the vacant building at 1512 E Eighth Ave. a...
Published: 12/15/17

FHP: Overturned pick-up slowed traffic on northbound Howard Frankland

ST. PETERSBURG — A pick-up truck towing a car onto the northbound Howard Frankland Bridge overturned and crashed on the shoulder, causing back-ups for motorists trying to get to Tampa, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.The incident was reported...
Published: 12/15/17
New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

New video shows cows beaten and burned at Florida dairy farm

The Miami Beach-based Animal Recovery Mission has released a video from its undercover abuse investigation at a Central Florida dairy farmThe graphic video, with disturbing images of cows cruelly being beaten, speared, stabbed and burned, was shot by...
Published: 12/15/17

Missing Child Alert canceled for Port St. Lucie girl, 17

A Florida Missing Child Alert has been canceled for a 17-year-old Port St. Lucie girl who was last seen on Thursday.The case involving Heaven Flores has been resolved, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Published: 12/15/17

Hudson pedestrian killed while crossing U.S. 19

HUDSON — A Hudson man was killed Thursday night while crossing U.S. 19.According to the Florida Highway Patrol, 59-year-old Gerald Berube was crossing the northbound lanes of U.S. 19 north of Stahl Drive around 6:40 p.m. when he walked into the path ...
Published: 12/15/17
Tampa police seek ‘person of interest’ in Dec. 3 homicide

Tampa police seek ‘person of interest’ in Dec. 3 homicide

TAMPA — Police are seeking a "person of interest" who they believe has information about a Dec. 3 drive-by shooting that killed a 22-year-old man.Police are searching for Anan Motilal, 25. He stands about 5-foot-10 and weighs 180 pounds. He may have ...
Published: 12/14/17