TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A striking new monument at Tampa Police District 1 headquarters serves as a powerful tribute to some of the Tampa Bay area’s most revered heroes.

It’s a brand new lion sculpture titled “TAKING A STANCE” dedicated to the 32 Tampa Police Officers who died in the line of duty.

“We put this uniform on every day and go out to serve the community with the intention of going home to our family at night,” said Mayor Jane Castor, a former TPD Chief.

Master Police Officer Jesse Madsen never made it home to his wife and three children on March 9, 2021, His final act in a Tampa Police uniform was veering his patrol car into the path of a wrong-way driver on I-275.

“I can’t think of an action that defines our police officers more than that split-second decision,” Mayor Castor said.

Artist Dominique Martinez made the lion sculpture with repurposed parts of Madsen’s patrol car.

“Going to the impound lot off of Adamo Drive and literally cutting up the vehicle and salvaging what we can is embedded in this piece,” Martinez said at the sculpture’s unveiling Tuesday morning.

Tampa Police Department Chief Mary O’Connor said the lion sculpture standing six feet tall is the most fitting tribute for Madsen.

‘A small reflection of his strength his unmatched zest for life and his huge heart that could only be described by many as having the heart of a lion,” O’Connor said.

Inspired by Madsen’s story, Tampa businessman Steven Rogai established a foundation that raised the money to build this memorial that will stand the test of time.

“I want every officer and decorated man and woman who puts this uniform (on) to come to this garden and enjoy and take solace,” Rogai said, “and I don’t want it to be a place to mourn. I want it to be a place to rejoice.”

In addition to parts from Madsen’s police vehicle, the sculptor used 125 decommissioned firearms to create the lion sculpture.