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It Was Not a Police Chase: That Cop Convoy You Saw on Palm Coast Parkway

| May 18, 2012

The convoy began on Celico Way and Old Kings Road. (© FlaglerLive)

Around noon today a convoy of at-times fast-flying marked and unmarked Flagler County Sheriff’s Office cruisers flew down from Celico Way and Old Kings Road, then west on Palm Coast Parkway, and down U.S. 1. It was not a chase, nor did it have anything to do with Thursday’s robbery of the Bank of America.

The convoy was on its way to the American Police Hall of Fame and Museum in Titusville, which is unveiling a new memorial to honor the late Frankie Celico, the Flagler County Sheriff’s deputy who died at age 33.

Celico Way was renamed in his honor on his birthday in January. The convoy started there, then picked up members of his family at Celico Auto Body in Bunnell. Parts of the route were briefly blocked off along the way.

The hall of fame, founded in 1960, is the nation’s first national police museum and memorial dedicated to law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. Celico was on duty when he died, but his death was related to a heart issue. (The sheriff’s office on Thursday conducted its annual memorial for the fallen, reading off the names deputies killed in the line of duty since the 1920s. Celico’s name was not included.)

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59 Responses for “It Was Not a Police Chase: That Cop Convoy You Saw on Palm Coast Parkway”

  1. Seriously??? says:

    I was among those that were driving on Palm Coast Pkwy & US1…and I have to say that the fact that county resources were used to escort them all over the county is ridiculous. There were at least 12 sheriff’s vehicles involved, plus the helicopter…all for a monument that is in Titusville???

  2. Sue Dickinson says:

    Thanks Pierre for always keeping us up on what is happening here in Flagler County. I saw the helicopter hovering without seeing anything else and became very concerned. With everything that has been happening lately one can only think that something else has happened causing the helicopter to be on the search.
    The loss of Frankie was certainly horrible. I am greatful to hear that there is such a wonderful recognition for the loss that his personal, law enforecement family and community have felt. My heart still goes out to all that are still hurting so bad that they too will one day feel some peace. RIP Frankie. You are in a better place!

  3. Amateur says:

    wow, i saw this and it appeared as if they were racing towards a crime. especially since fire flight was flying over head, and they way they were forcing people off the road. if this was just suppose to be a convoy to honor calico the sirens and aggressiveness were totally uncalled for!!! my god how do they explain the cost of fire flight for such a thing????

    • Martha says:

      Aggressiveness? Forcing people off the road? This escort was at less than 40mph until they reached I95. I know because I followed it. Also there were no sirens except by the motor units who controlled traffic. To complain about FCSO escorting the Celico family and honoring one of their own is very petty. Any of you seen Washington DC this past week?

  4. Ambroz says:

    Frank was a great guy, always helpful and polite. And he was a great cop. Rest in peace Frank.

  5. Nancy N. says:

    In whose imagination does it honor a fallen officer to abuse the authority of the office and misuse county resources in his name? Oh yeah…that’s Fleming at work again.

  6. tulip says:

    It does sound overdone—I don’t understand why they had to drive at a high speed and why they needed fireflight.

  7. blondee says:

    12 sheriff;s vehicles headed to Titusville? Who’s minding the store?

    • Michael Van Buren says:

      For everyone that thought that was “excessive”, I can only hope that we could provide the same respect for any of your family members in the same circumstances. The “package” never exceeded 40 MPH. Unfortunately the motors have to travel a little faster to secure the intersections and get all the drivers who are too concerned with their cell phone calls, eating, talking, and doing anything else but driving out of the way.

      As far as Fire Flight is concerned, they were already in the air doing a fire recon, and were willing to assist us at my request.

      To the naysayers, your attempts at tarnishing a good thing for FCSO, the Celico’s, and the public at large will go unnoticed. Feel free to take a trip to Titusville and visit the exhibit. If you still don’t feel it’s worth it I will be happy to refund your admission price.

      Sgt. Michael Van Buren
      Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

      • Anonymous says:

        Well said.

      • citizen says:

        That would never hapen for my family members and I am in the healthcare profession. Saving lives every day!!!!!!!

        • Jessica says:

          Sorry but healthcare professionals do not put their lives on the line as officers do for your protection and service.

      • jespo says:

        Mike, never let the dark of ignorance shutter away the light you carry along with your brothers…no words will ever take away or tarnish the daily sacrifice you and others worldwide endure to serve your fellow man. There will always be that segemnt of society incapable of seeing that sacrifice…do not give them a moment’s pause or entertain their narcissism….all are worth your time, but few will truly understand, or appreciate, the effort.

      • Riley says:

        Can I use your gas card?

    • Riley says:

      OVERTIME PAY FOR ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. George Bowman says:

    RIP Frankie, But come on is all that coming out of Fleming’s Pocket????

  9. revenge of the nerds says:

    Vote Fleming out!

  10. fedup says:

    GOD BLESS Frank Celico his name BELONGS on the Flagler County Memorial Wall. Shame on Fleming for not adding it. Maybe he wasn’t shot or hit by a car, but he died ON DUTY suffering a fatal heart attack. That should be considered in the line of duty……. Oh Yea just a little more overkill and waste of tax payers money, but BIG DON is O.K. with that!!!! HE’S GOT TO GO!!!!!!!!

  11. gatorfan1 says:

    big day for the keystone kops. rescuing kittens out of trees,catching stray dogs,harrassing honest working people. GO CATCH THAT FREAKING BANK ROBBER AND FLEMING…HIT THE ROAD JACK!!

  12. S. Peterson says:

    Waste of gas

  13. Martha says:

    Are you people for real?

  14. Blah says:

    Get a life it was worth the cost to honor Frankie if you don’t like it don’t call the police if you need them

  15. NortonSmitty says:

    I knew Frankie, he was a great guy. Frankie had a heart attack. Frankie was a cop. Frankie would have been a great guy no matter what career he chose. This display by his brother officers shows that they think he was somehow special compared to the rest of us. That the Police community felt his death was deserving of this vulgar display. And it was pretty much shoved in our faces to show us this fact.

    I guarantee you this is the very last thing Frankie would have wanted. That is what made him a great guy, not that he chose the career of a Policeman.

  16. Mike says:

    Why do you people always have to turn things into something bad? Think of all of the lives that that deputy saved. He’s probably stopped suspects that would have killed you if they were still on the streets. You should be ashamed of yourselves. I have great respect for our Flagler County Sheriff Deputies as well as Sheriff Fleming, contrary to many other negative people. R.I.P. Frankie, you are always missed.

  17. comment says:

    And later that day, my 19 year old was pulled over for doing 15mph in a 5mph zone by Starbucks. Two reinforcements and K-9 were called in to search his vehicle. If you knew my son you would know how big of a joke this is. He is, by far, one of the least suspicious people these cops met this year. If he is pulled over, whatever, police are doing a job. But, two back ups and a K-9 officer? Really? We had a good laugh at the expense of these over zealous law enforcement officers, but hey, thanks for taking the time out of your already busy day to keep Palm Coast safe from the likes of my “suspicious” son.

    • jespo says:

      1. Tell your kid to stop speeding and look at signs, it’s the law. 2. What time did the great kid get pulled over? 3. You do realize that all the cars could have been in the area at the same time and they stepped out together. 4. It’s possible that your son drives a vehicle driven by another possible suspect and they were taking precautions. 5. You may not know your son that well or the people he hangs with. 6. A K9 could be a supervisor that particular moment so try not to get scared of the doggy. 7. Maybe you just complain a lot. 8. I’ll trust officer’s judgement and suspicion over a parent’s thought on their kid any day of the week…you see them at home, police see them everywhere else. 9. All criminals are ‘somebodys son’. 10. Wah, grow up.

      • comment says:

        If you took the time to read my post you will see I did not object to my adult child being pulled over. I appreciate the police doing their job and fully expect my son to respect their authority. As such, he was cooperative and respectful to all of the officers involved. I purposely left out the details as they were not or are relevant to my comment. But since YOU are so interested I will answer YOUR questions. 1. I have already stated I expect my son to respect the law and the enforcement of the law. 2. He was pulled over on his way home from his full time job, the one he has while on summer break from full time college. He was getting coffee for himself and his Mom (rotten kid?) 3. You need to understand the first officer called for the other officers, they were not just there. 4.I agree fully with this thought and even mentioned the same to my son. 5. I know my son better then you ever will and I can assure you that he does not “hang” anywhere with anyone. Hard for most to believe, but my son has no interest in drinking or drugs or trouble in his life. He is a rare find but a very real person. 6. The K-9 was brought in to search and btw my son was disappointed he did not get the opportunity to interact with the dog. He completely understood the dog was working and gave the respect the dog deserved. 7. I am sorry you perceive stating my opinion of my child’s experience as complaining. I am curious how you come by the thought that I complain alot simply by one post on a forum? You must be clairvoyant or something!! 8. You can trust whoever you are comfortable trusting. 9. All criminals are in fact somebodies son is correct, but my son is not a criminal. 10. I am not crying and am in fact quite grown. However, I question your maturity with your emotional outburst, andcondescending remarks based entirely on your thoughts and not a single fact. HMMMM?
        Just to make it clear this post in in response to Jespo’s nasty response. I support the police in upholding the law, but do maintain that in my opinion they were a bit over zealous. Isn’t that a right the police protect? My right to free speech?

        • jespo says:

          Nice answers, well thought out, sounds like a great kid…but when 173 law enforcement officers are killed in the state in one year’s time, almost one every two days, I’ll take a little precaution (what you call zeal) any day of the week when facing the unknown.

  18. Barb says:

    Wow. These comments are shameful. God forbid that fallen officers should have ONE day to honor their fallen, and that it might cost a little money.

    R.I.P Deputy Celico.

  19. Miguel Diaz says:

    This was for a man the kept you and your neighborhood safe. I’m sure they weren’t racing and I’m sure you wouldn’t mind them being in a hurry to help you. Did they make you wait for a whole 30 seconds as they passed. What a bunch of whiners. Have some respect you interwebtards.

  20. Anthony Faleri says:

    If there is anyone who has a problem with a honor for a fallen officer then they can come and see me. These are the men and women who on a daily basis walk out on their own families each day and night to protect ours. Frank Celico gave the ultimate sacrifice for us with his life. Every single day he walked out of his house and into his patrol car to make sure each resident of Flagler County was safe. This was a great honor for his Family as well as the men and women who served with him. The community should be honored to have had such a special man working for them. To say that this was a waste of money or anything else is a great disservice to him and all that serve and protect us. Most people in the county are just unaware of all the things going on and do not pay attention to things like this because it does not affect the everyday things they are doing. THERE IS NO COST TO EXPENSIVE FOR HONOR.

  21. The Truth says:

    As someone who knew Frankie and misses him dearly, I must say this seems a bit excessive. I understand honoring a fallen officer, I understand showing your respect. At the same time, I also understand that resources are important to this county and to use all these resources for this seems a bit excessive. This is a touchy subject for many who loved Frankie, but in all honesty this was a bit much.

    • Brian says:

      We understood when we became law enforcement officers that there will be many ignorant citizens who will have they’re negative two cents to say about us. If we wanted to make friends with everyone we made contact with, we would have become firemen. There are MANY citizens who do support us and respect us for the sacrifices we make on a daily basis, and we are honored to serve you!

      All the negative comments and critics that like to pick apart to FCSO, without really knowing the ACTUAL FACTS before making ignorant comments are more amusing than upsetting. I wish those people really knew how dedicated and hardworking the majority of us really are. I invite those people (if applicable) to sign up for a ride-along with a deputy to see the REAL job we do (which does involve the occasional traffic stop on GOOD citizens who make minor traffic violations).

      Make all the negative comments you want, we will still be out here day and night serving and protecting you either way.

  22. Seriously??? says:

    I think there is a lot of misunderstanding going on here…I am glad that Frank was honored, but I don’t think all of the hoopla was necessary. As a devoted deputy would he really approve of all the resources that were used to honor him????

  23. another voice says:

    Those of you who keep making this personal need to step back and understand something. Criticizing the excessive display, the delayed traffic, the “who’s minding the store” angle, the extra fuel being used in this time of flat-broke government, in the name of honoring a fallen officer who has–if I’m reading this correctly–already been honored by the government by having a street named after him–is NOT DISHONORING that officer. It is simply a criticism of the fact that at this time, it looks excessive.

    What the hell is wrong with those of you who act as though those who speak out against this excessiveness are somehow less worthy of police protection in the future? That’s really sad. You can be sorry the man died without bowing and scraping to the police force who keeps honoring him over and over, now to the point where they’re disrupting traffic and using twelve cars to cruise a couple hundred miles while our own neighborhoods are that much less protected.

  24. Roy Longo says:

    RIP Sgt. Celico. If I knew of the memorial I would hat been at the museum in Titusville for the ceremony.

  25. palmcoaster says:

    We were fortunate to know Frankie for many years and because of the way he was and his integrity and character is that, we agree with above with Norton Smitty that this display, was the last thing that Frankie would have wanted.

  26. patty says:

    I dont think most people are objecting to honoring Frankie. What they are objecting to is the hoopla and the resourses being used. He would be equally honored, if not nore, if those folks honored him on their own dime and on their own time!
    And what’s with the sniping at fire fighters? Are they any less worthy of honor than cops?

    • jespo says:

      And you know it’s not their time and dime how? Or did you just assume, like everyone else, that all were being paid? What is hoopla? It’s funny…when it’s an honor guard they call it hoopla…when you’re the one upside down in a ditch crying they call it response…and then everyone is so happy and grateful….hypocrits.

  27. Miguel Diaz says:

    Nah, all you complainers should be protected. I just hope they drive slower to your house. Maybe, stop for a few possums and maybe a 3 legged, blind gopher tortoise or two while getting to you whining, complainers dilemma. Get a life. Go complain about a real problem. This man deserves anything they want to do to remember and honor him. I hope they do it every year and I hope it bothers you every year. Have a great day. Thanks. Bye.

  28. Yournot2bright says:

    Mistakes…To the man in charge.

    #1. Had you gathered and left from the main Sheriff’s Office. The City of Palm Coasts traffic would not have been impacted.

    #2. You chose to impede the busiest intersection in the middle of lunch hour without warning.

    #3 The public was not made aware of this to even have the option to show support or honor Celico.

    Shame on whoever thought out this plan. You are the one who created this fiasco. RIP Frankie, wish we all could have had the opportunity to join in to honor your life. You are deeply missed. Until we meet again my friend.

  29. GoodFella says:

    Boy this has gotten way out of hand. I mean I knew Frankie when he was growing up. We would race our Mustangs together and go clubbing at Razzles and such. I mean he was a great guy and all but damn. He grew up just like everyone else, smoking weed and drinking and all doing ALOT less than his brother Carmine, trust me. Ok, so he choose to be a cop. He was not a GOD, get over it people. He was a nice guy, we know. But I dont think that he would have wanted all this B.S. either. Some people take things to far and I believe this is one of those times. Let him rest in peace.

  30. David says:

    Anybody that puts their life on the line for my family and mine’s protection day in and day deserve a a honorable escort. Thank you FCSO for your commendable service.

  31. Barb says:

    Actually what is excessive is what a cop does for you on a daily basis for a salary that doesn’t fit the danger and commitment of the job. And what disgusts me is for something like this to be turned into a political opportunity for some or an excuse for others who lay in wait for opportunity to bash a cop. Have you no morals at all?

    This is a deserved send off for someone who put YOUR life before his own every single day.

  32. Seriously??? says:


  33. PJ says:

    Celico was a cop who cared about other cops as well as the public. To be honored with the fallen is an honor in it’s self.

    Was the Police convoy excessive, expensive a waste of time maybe to some but I’ll say this you don’t open an exhibit of Fallen Police Officers everyday.

  34. Jo shmoe says:

    What part was excessive? The helicopter was already up and flying and all officer’s involved were off duty and on their own time. This was well deserved and nice to see, the job we do is an unrewarding one and it’s good to see them take care of their own. It’s a shame some of you will never know that bond or feeling. I am not employed by any Flagler county agency so no biased here just good to see a deputy get what he deserves.

  35. Ann says:

    To: Sgt. Michael Van Buren Flagler County Sheriff’s Office

    Isn’t it against policy for you to be posting openly on public your comment (“To the naysayers, your attempts at tarnishing a good thing for FCSO, the Celico’s, and the public at large will go unnoticed. Feel free to take a trip to Titusville and visit the exhibit. If you still don’t feel it’s worth it I will be happy to refund your admission price.”) meant to be the official statement on the matter from the Flagler County Sheriff’s office?

  36. meh says:

    next week is the anniversary of my friend marks death. i think to honor him i will round up all my biker friends and do 70mph down belle terre while we rip wheelies at will….

    its ok tho, he was like family and I’m honoring him. its an honor thing, so its all good. anybody know how i can get a helicopter involved in the honoring? its ok, we’re honoring him. btw, ill need everybody here to chip in $10 for gas. i think its the least you can do.

  37. Seriously??? says:

    even if all the officers were off duty, they were still using FCSO equipment, that we the taxpayers pay for…

  38. Reality Check says:

    This was a great gesture, but one that should have been done with employees own private cars. In a time where people’s skepticism is already high of Government spending, this should have taken place with out the use of county support vehicles. I can see everyone wanting to go to visit the museum and honor a fallen Deputy, but this should been a meeting place and then a car pool to the museum. I knew Frank since he was a kid, I love the entire family, but in an economic crisis this one, and all governments face now this was a poor financial decision on the FCSO part. I also understand their loyalty, love, and devotion to one of their own, but they should have known this would not have gone over well with the public. Was it a wrong choice or a poor choice, that is up to the individual, but there is no way a SGT should get on here and defend either decision, that is what the public relations dept is for. Thank you to all that serve our community each and every day, your loyalty to duty does not go unnoticed.

  39. UmadBRO says:

    FCSO is a joke. Their all dirty cops. It’s funny how you get pulled over by someone you knew back from high school and they talk to you as if their better than you all because they have a badge. NEWS FLASH.. You got picked on in high school so you became a cop.
    What ever happened to protect and serve? You drive by Dunkin Donuts on old kings and you’ll aklways see a couple police officers if not a sheriffs vehicle.

    As far as Celico, he was probaby one of the nicer cops. He gave people a chance, but if you slipped up again he would throw down the hammer of justice. RIP

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