‘A hero remembered never dies’: Tampa Bay roadways dedicated to honor 3 fallen law enforcement officers

Local News

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA/AP) – Three fallen Tampa Bay law enforcement officers are being remembered for their heroism and giving their lives on duty.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed Senate Bill 1716 into law Friday, which designates portions of Tampa Bay roadways in honor of the three men.

“These were men who put the safety of their communities above their own safety,” DeSantis said.

Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Michael Magli died earlier this year in a crash with a suspected drunken driver.

In his honor, the governor said a portion of County Line Road 611 between Keystone Road and Forelock Road will now be named Deputy Michael J. Magli Memorial Road.

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Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Brian LaVigne was one shift from retirement when a fleeing suspect “intentionally” crashed into his cruiser.

A portion of State Road 60 between Interstate 75 and Philip Lee Boulevard will now be designated as Sergeant Brian LaVigne Road, the governor said.

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Tampa Police Department Officer Jesse Madsen sacrificed his life by using his patrol car to shield other motorists from a suspected drunk driver that was traveling the wrong way over 100 miles per hour.

The portion of Interstate 275 between E. Sligh Avenue and E. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, according to DeSantis, will now be named Officer Jesse Madsen Memorial Highway.

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“Michael, Brian and Jesse were the type of men we need in law enforcement, the type of men we all hope will be the one to arrive when we call for help,” the governor said. “We’re not going to forget their sacrifices, we’re not going to forget what they did to protect our communities.”

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri expressed his gratitude for the road naming and hopes this effort will remind residents how important law enforcements are in keeping their communities safe.

“This important bill indelibly honors these fallen law enforcement officers and naming roads after them is important because a hero remembered never dies. It is often stated that we will never forget or that these cops who have given it all will never be forgotten and naming roads after these officers helps ensure that the phrase is not merely a cliche and that these officers and their families are not asterisks that people think about just every so often,” said Gualtieri. “By naming of these roads and the placement of dedications signs, tens of thousands of people will be reminded daily that Michael Magli, Brian LaVigne, and Jesse Madsen were people. People with families who sacrificed for them and died protecting others from evil.”

The wife of Officer Magli, who was in attendance of the bill signing, reiterated Gualtieri’s sentiments and hopes the dedication will inspire conversations of fond memories for her family.

“Our families are still trying to pick up the pieces of what is left behind and for that again, thank you. Thank you for your support. Thank you for the passing of this bill. That in years to come, that we travel with our families, I can tell my girls ‘We’re on daddy’s road.'” said Stephanie Magli.

Earlier in the day, the governor also signed a bill that would allow ambulances to transport injured law enforcement animals.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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