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Sculpture Honoring Fallen Officers to be Delivered to District Office

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Mayor Jane Castor, Tampa Police Chief Mary O’Connor, and city leaders will join Steven Rogai of Rogai Family Foundation and other supporters of law enforcement as they unveil “TAKING A STANCE,” a law enforcement officer memorial sculpture created to honor all fallen officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Funded by community donations to the Rogai Family Foundation, the metal sculpture includes steel from Master Police Officer Jesse Madsen’s police vehicle, which he used in his final act of valor as he made the ultimate sacrifice, purposely placing his vehicle in the path of a wrong-way drunk driver and laying down his life to protect members of our community.

Steven Anthony Rogai was inspired by Officer Madsen’s courage and created the Rogai Family Foundation to raise money to fund the L.E.O. (Law Enforcement Officer) memorial sculpture. “This will be more than art; it’s a timeless piece to honor and recognize the bravery of their service,” said Rogai. “The creation of the memorial statue allows the Tampa Bay community to honor the service and bravery of the police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice. It has been an absolute privilege to lead the charge of getting this memorial sculpture created and installed by creating the Rogai Family Foundation.”

Tampa artist Dominique Martinez, a metal sculptor and CEO of Rustic Steel, was commissioned by the Rogai Family Foundation to create “TAKING A STANCE.” The lion sculpture weighs 800 pounds, stands six feet tall, and is made up of various pieces of the police vehicle that Officer Madsen was driving when the tragedy occurred. In addition, 125 decommissioned pistols, revolvers, shotguns, and rifles are woven into the sculpture. It consists of over 6,000 welds throughout the entire piece and took about 700 hours of fabrication.

“This project will be most impactful, and the finished piece is designed to showcase the officer’s strength and honor,” Martinez said. “It will be unveiled at the Tampa Police Department for the world to see the sacrifice this man-made. Visitors will see how this memorial came together to show community support for law enforcement.”

On Monday, October 24, the sculpture will make its way through the city from its current location at Red Door No. 5, located at 1910 N. Florida Avenue to its new home at the Tampa Police District One Office, located at 3818 W. Tampa Bay Boulevard. It will be installed in a garden on the property that will serve as an area of respite for police officers and community members to reflect.

The sculpture will leave Red Door No. 5 at 3:00 PM, heading north on Florida Avenue, turning west on Columbus Drive, north onto Dale Mabry Highway, and west onto Tampa Bay Boulevard before entering the District One property. The drive, led by a police escort, will take approximately 15-20 minutes.

Lot 7 of Raymond James Stadium will be open to any members of the community who want to line along Dale Mabry Highway and witness the monument as it makes its way to its destination. Those wishing to attend should arrive no later than 3:00 PM.

On Tuesday, October 25, the official unveiling will take place at 10:30 AM in the District One garden as part of a private ceremony.

“I speak for our entire department when I say we are incredibly humbled by the inspired effort this work of art represents,” said Chief O’Connor. “This sculpture captures the steely resolve of every law enforcement officer who takes an oath to protect and serve their community, and who is willing to lay down their own lives to protect another. The fact that this creation was borne and brought to life by members of the community we serve makes it that much more meaningful to every member of our department.”