TAMPA, Fla. - For almost eight years, Tampa officers Michael Strom and Jesse Madsen rode side by side as partners. They were tight – on the job, and off.
"No matter what kind of situation we were in, I knew we'd be OK because he was right there with me," said Officer Strom.
Wednesday, Strom and others wore a black band over their badge honoring the fallen officer. Tuesday morning, Madsen lost his life stopping a wrong-way driver on I-275. He is said to have purposely driven his cruiser into the path of the oncoming car to save others.
"He'd always run to the danger, there's no hesitation," said Officer Matthew Drumsta.
Drumsta was mentored by Madsen. Their bond was so tight, he asked Madsen to be the godfather of his newborn.
"His godfather was a courageous person, an amazing person," Drumsta continued.
Madsen served 16 and a half years with TPD. He also served in the U.S. Marines. In his off time, he was a fisherman, enjoyed shooting sports, and was a husband and father of three children.
"This community has lost a great cop, somebody that cared about this city and cared about its citizens and its visitors and the safety of them," added Sgt. Ed Croissant. "That's huge."