The Sarasota County Lodge #45 of the Fraternal Order of Police is spearheading a project that will involve the restoration of an antique patrol car. The vehicle will match one that was actually used by the sheriff’s office since the office first purchased patrol cars in 1953. Once the restoration is complete, the vehicle will be donated to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office for various public uses.
By reviewing photographs in “From Shield to Star,” a book by retired Sgt. Bob Snell that documents the history of the department, several vehicles were identified by make and model. The first fleet of four vehicles consisted of 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air 150s. The project is being coordinated by FOP #45 Vice-President Kevin Lynch, who is a retired SSO lieutenant. Lynch has overseen the restoration of several emergency vehicles including two fire trucks and a Cadillac ambulance that he currently owns.
Tax-deductible contributions to this project can be sent to The Community Foundation of Sarasota County, P. O. Box 49587, Sarasota, FL 34230-6587, marked for the antique patrol car project.
The FOP is also looking for in-kind services and donations such as labor and supplies needed for the project, and possibly the vehicle itself. Storage space will also be needed for the vehicle as well as initial transportation to Sarasota. Questions can be sent to FOP Lodge #45 at P.O. Box 1488, Englewood, FL 34295-1488 or e-mailed to Lynch at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the Lodge #45 website at foplodge45.com.