BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been more than a year since Harford County lost two of its sheriff’s deputies in a shooting.
Now, the fallen heroes are being honored in a unique way.
A new tribute police vehicle will soon be hitting the roads.
The SUV was completely transformed, and that took many hours, but the volunteers tells WJZ it was a labor of love.
The cold February afternoon in 2016 left a scar in Harford County forever, when a gunman opened fire in a local Panera restaurant, killing deputies Patrick Dailey and Mark Logsdon.
After the murders, a fellow deputy who designed a special shoulder patch, came up with a design for a police vehicle to honor the fallen heroes.
“Our community, our state really, but particularly here in Harford County, just turned out so overwhelmingly, and this is just an extension of that,” said Harford County Sheriff Jeff Gahler.
All the decals are hand painted. Just one of the door seals took more than 70 hours to finish.
“I kind of knew Mark, so it was a little personal for me too,” said Steve Dermatis, with Canby Motors.
Dermatis and others at the auto repair company volunteered their time to transform the Ford SUV into a mobile memorial.
“Not only just for them, but for all the sheriffs, to let them know we appreciate everything they do,” Dermatis said. “It doesn’t go unnoticed.”
At the reveal ceremony, the Harford County Sheriff brass thanked all the volunteers and local businesses who made the vehicle a reality.
The seven names of those the sheriff’s office has lost are now visible to the world.
The car number is 210. It represents the date of that tragic shooting of those two deputies.
The vehicle is fittingly named, “Tribute.”
“You always want to celebrate their lives, pretty much respect what they did,” said Lee Moore, with Canby Motors “They paid the ultimate sacrifice just to protect all of us.”
The vehicle will make its public debut on Tuesday, at the Bel Air July 4th parade.
As for who gets to drive it, the county sheriff says it will be shared and will make appearances in the community and at special events.