TAMPA, Fla. — Three Tampa Bay area law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty since January were honored Tuesday night with a procession on the Hillsborough River.
Sixteen law enforcement boats, representing state and local agencies, met at the Platt Street Bridge and sailed north on the Hillsborough River in memory of Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen of the Tampa Police Department, Sergeant Brian LaVigne of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and Deputy Michael Magli of the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
Why 16 boats? The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's Division of Law Enforcement says the number was chosen to represent Madsen’s sixteen years of service in law enforcement.
Watch the full coverage of the boat procession:
Madsen's funeral was held just hours before the boat procession.
The emergency boats had their blue lights activated on the way to Armature Works. When they arrived, three boats – one representing each fallen officer - led the procession's return back to the Tampa Convention Center.
People who wished to pay their respects were asked to line up and watch the tribute from along the Tampa Riverwalk and not try to join the procession with their own boats.
FWC said the following agencies were represented: the Tampa Police Department, Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, United States Air Force (MacDill AFB), United States Coast Guard, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, Polk County Sheriff’s Office, St. Petersburg Police Department, New Port Richey Police Department, and Treasure Island Police Department.
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