TAMPA, Fla. — Several food trucks were in downtown Tampa Sunday to raise money for the family of fallen Officer Jesse Madsen who was killed in the line of duty.
ABC Action News reporter Anthony Hill found out how Sunday’s event will help Madsen’s family and why people thought it was important to pay their respects.
Many people decided to spend their Sunday at a food truck rally. Nine food trucks lined Lykes Gaslight Park in downtown Tampa and though people enjoyed different types of food, they were really there to support the family of fallen Officer Jesse Madsen.
“All the proceeds from the sales, we’re going to donate directly to Officer Madsen’s family,” said Ryan Thomas, one of the coordinators of the event.
Officer Madsen made the ultimate sacrifice.
Two weeks ago, he put his patrol car in the path of another driver who investigators say was drunk, speeding and going in the wrong direction. He died on impact.
Officer Madsen leaves behind a wife and three children.
“I think it was important to show our support to Officer Jesse’s family. They’ve experienced something that I can’t relate to and if there’s anything to do to take a little pressure off of them, I think it was important,” said Stephanie Swanz, one of the people who attended the food truck benefit rally.
Though nothing could ever truly ease the pain that Officer Madsen’s family is feeling, the community is hoping that this event will let them know just how appreciative they are for their sacrifice.
“I’m very grateful to hear that we have people that are out there that are willing to sacrifice their lives for us,” Swanz.
Even while Officer Madsen isn’t physically here, his commitment has inspired many.
“We all know that out of this tragedy, something good is going to happen. Something good is going to come. So, this is just an example to us of Jesse’s greatness. Look at everything he’s done, getting us all us together one last time here,” said Danny Alvarez, from the Tampa Police Benevolent Association.
Though the reason for the gathering was heartbreaking, this was a celebration of life. The celebration of someone who decided to literally put their life on the line to protect others.