TAMPA, Fla. – Neighbors lined up Tuesday morning to support the family of fallen Tampa police officer Jesse Madsen when a motorcade escorted them to his funeral.
“The entire neighborhood lined up for about a mile in old woods to demonstrate the motorcade and family support,” said neighbor Tom Mcclanahan.
“It was amazing how many people came out. It’s very hard to hold back tears. Everyone who knew this man was touched by his kindness. Really a wonderful person.”
Early Tuesday morning, a procession was seen escorting Officer Madsen from the funeral home to Idlewild Baptist Church for the 11am service
Prior to the funeral, Tampa police chief Brian Dugan said dealing with the loss of Officer Madsen had been difficult.
“It’s something I’ve never seen in my life,” said Dugan. “When you’re a boss, you always worry that this might happen, and when it does, you don’t know how unprepared you are until it does.”
Dugan thanked the ward for the “incredible” support the department and family have received from Officer Madsen.
Chief Dugan speaks for Officer Madsen on the morning of the funeral
He said it was important for the community to be able to attend the funeral and mourn with the department. The funeral service is public, the funeral ceremony is not.
Officer Madsen is buried in Florida National Cemetery with full military honors for his service as a U.S. Marine.