TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Colleagues of Tampa Police Officer Jesse Madsen who was killed in the line of duty on Tuesday are sharing their memories about him as the investigation into the wrong-way crash that took his life continues.
“He was my senior officer on the squad. He was the go-to guy,” said Senior Sgt. Ed Croissant. “He was very much, loved his job, loved his community. He always wanted to protect the community.”
An officer known for leaving a mark on everyone who knew him, Officer Madsen will now have his name etched in stone on the fallen officer memorial outside of the Tampa Police Department.
“Anytime you lose somebody close, you want to wake up the next day and just hope it was a bad dream,” said Sgt. Croissant, who is still in shock over the loss, but not surprised Officer Madsen lost his life trying to save others.
Officer Madsen lost his life after crashing into a wrong-way driver who was speeding down Interstate 275. Police Chief Brian Dugan said Madsen had veered into the way of the oncoming car in order to save the lives of others.
This was not the first heroic act from the 45-year-old father of three.
He received seven life-saving awards during his 16 and a half year year career with TPD.
“That’s seven he got awards for. I would not be surprised if there’s more,” said Detective Rachel Cholnik, who was hired at the same time as Officer Madsen, more than 16 years ago.
Officer Madsen’s badge, number 507, will be retired and his name will be etched into the Tampa Police Fallen Officers Memorial.
The Tampa Police foundation (Rise Tampa) is raising money for Officer Madsen’s family. 100% of the donations will directly to the family.
To donate: monetary donations can be submitted to any Bank of Tampa branch in MPO Madsen’s name.
Checks or money orders can be sent to:
i/c/o MPO Madsen
PO Box 172816
Tampa, FL 33672