TAMPA, Fla. — The community is invited to remember a hero and pay their respects to an officer who gave his life to serve others.
Friends, family and the Tampa Bay community will be able to say goodbye to Tampa Police Department Officer Jesse Madsen on Tuesday, March 16, at Idlewild Baptist Church in Lutz, according to Retired Senior Sgt. Mark Delage who is assisting the department in arrangements.
Public visitation will begin at 10 a.m. with the funeral service following at 11 a.m. People are asked to wear proper attire: business professional, all black or dark/muted colors. Everyone will need to wear a face covering.
The burial for Officer Madsen will be held in private at 2:30 p.m. at the Florida National Cemetery at Bushnell.
Madsen died Tuesday, March 9, when he veered his cruiser into a wrong-way driver on Interstate 275, Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said. Dugan said the 45-year-old officer died trying to protect others.
Madsen had been with the Tampa Police Department for 16 years. Dugan said he was a decorated police officer and a seven-time recipient of police life-saving awards.
He dedicated his life to the safety and service of others, Dugan added, first as a United States Marine combat veteran, then as a police officer in Lyndhurst and Shaker Heights, Ohio.
"When you look at someone who's earned seven life-saving awards, it's no surprise that he would take such swift action and do this," Dugan said.
Madsen leaves behind a wife and three kids.
"This a tragedy. Our community has been rocked by these wrong-way drivers. And it's just a complete tragedy a husband and father of [three] is now gone," Dugan said. The Tampa Police Department said Madsen was a guardian of the city and will never be forgotten.
Madsen was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Chief of Police Pat Rhode in Lyndhurst, Ohio, told 10 Tampa Bay he was Madsen’s training officer in 1999 when he first started his career in law enforcement. Rhode said they became friends and he described Madsen as “selfless.”
“Our hearts ache for Jesse and Jesse’s family and the Tampa Police Department and the general Tampa community and our prayers are with y’all during this horrific tragedy,” Rhode said.
A sergeant with the Shaker Heights Police Department, also in the Cleveland area, told 10 Tampa Bay some of their officers plan on making the trip to Tampa for Madsen’s funeral.
Dugan said the other driver was 25-year-old Joshua Montague of Colorado. Montague was also killed in the crash, Dugan said.
Here is how you can help Officer Madsen's family.