TAMPA, Fla.— — The community is continuing to mourn the loss of a Tampa Police officer. Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen was killed in the line of duty this week after a crash involving a wrong-way driver.
To people who knew him, Officer Madsen wasn’t just a police officer.
“He wasn’t just our friend. He was our family,” said Bobbie Colvin.
Since the Master Patrol Officer was a rookie, Crystal and Bobbie Colvin, co-owners of Crystal’s Fast and Best in Tampa, say Madsen had been coming into their business for a quick bite or even a minute of peace.
“When he was here, he would help serving the customers,” said Crystal. “He would go and get them drinks, help out behind the line. He had his own key. He would come in and help, any and everything.”
The sisters shared that the news of Madsen’s death doesn’t seem real. Bobbie says she was at home getting in her car when she got the call.
“Instantly, I was like, ‘No. Not our Jesse. It wasn’t our Jesse.’ And it was our Jesse, and it was devastating,” said Bobbie. “We know how he was feeling in that moment, that he knew that he had to do this. He didn’t care what the outcome was going to be, and he was saving a life, what he did best.”
The Colvins describe Madsen as the ‘Iron Man,’ saying he was the friend you would want in a person and the officer you would want to protect you.
“Still waiting for reality to kick in. Still waiting for him to come through and start joking, helping with each person you know,” said Crystal. “Just still waiting for it to I guess be over.”
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan explained how they’re continuing to honor someone who went above and beyond to protect and serve.
“Officer Madsen is a true American hero,” said Dugan. “He deliberately moved his patrol car into the other driver’s path of travel. We believe Jesse Madsen was attempting to stop this wrong-way driver from putting anyone else’s life in danger and laying down his own.”
Because of his heroic efforts, Dugan said Madsen will be awarded the Police Purple Shield, given to officers who suffer an extreme physical injury or death in the line of duty, and will also receive the Medal of Honor.
“If you ever got in trouble, if you ever called 911, if you ever needed a backup, he’s the guy you wanted,” said Dugan. “He’s the guy that was going to answer the call, and he was going to do whatever it took.”
Tampa Police will unveil Officer Madsen’s name that’s been engraved on their monument to fallen officers at a candlelight vigil open to the public at 6:30p Thursday outside TPD headquarters. Madsen’s funeral service is Tuesday, March 16 at 11am at Idlewild Baptist Church.