The Tampa Police Department is keeping fallen officer Jesse Madsen’s legacy alive through a tribute on its police vehicles.
What You Need To Know
- Decals on patrol cars remember Officer James Madsen
- He was killed in recent crash involving wrong-way driver
- RELATED: Officer Madsen to be remembered at Tuesday service
- SEE ALSO: Information about how to help Madsen's family
- More on Tuesday's service, plus leave a message for Madsen's family
For Officer Ryan Agostinis, it’s not just a patrol car.
It’s a reminder of the friend that will live forever in his heart.
“From the moment I met (Madsen), we became instant friends. He was that kind of person. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body and once you were friends you were friends for life,” he said.
The decals honor the fallen hero Madsen, who veered into a wrong way driver on I-275 in order to save others’ lives.
Agostinis says his friendship with Madsen goes beyond the police force, to their time in the U.S. Army Reserves.
“One of the most loyal, honest people I’ve ever met, and its… it’s a shame he had to go out this way. But I know he went out doing what he loved - protecting the citizens of Tampa, people he’d never even met,” he said.
Of all the badges, this one, remembering Madsen, is the most valuable one of all.
“I can’t think of a bigger honor to drive a vehicle with his name on it. I can’t think of a better officer at this department that I’d want to do it for.”
Officer Agostinis will be sitting alongside Madsen’s family Tuesday during the funeral service, and says he’s one of the few officers that will escort his body to the cemetery.