TAMPA, Fla. — The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday to honor fallen law enforcement officers in the Tampa Bay area.
Sen. Ed Hooper and Rep. Chris Latvala proposed the legislation, known as SB 1716 and HB 1329, on Feb. 25. That was just over a week after Pinellas County Deputy Michael J. Magli was killed in the line of duty while trying to deploy "stop sticks" to end a chase with a suspected drunk driver.
The bill would allow the Florida Department of Transportation to erect memorial markings on East Lake Road, designating the highway as “Deputy Michael J. Magli Memorial Road," according to a February news release.
“The loss of Deputy Michael Magli is a tragedy that should have never happened,” House Speaker Chris Sprowls said in the release. “I am heart wrenched thinking about his wife and children. A local law enforcement hero was taken from us too soon. I am proud to keep his legacy alive with this legislation to rename East Lake Road in his memory. We will never forget Deputy Magli.”
State Representative Ben Diamond shared a photo on social media of the moment the bill was passed on the House floor. He said while the legislation cannot "obviously cannot fill the void left by these brave officers," it aims to honor their legacy and sacrifice.
Earlier this year, Master Patrol Officer Jesse Madsen of the Tampa Police Department and Sergeant Brian LaVigne of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office were killed in the line of duty, marking three Tampa law enforcement officers lost in just three months.
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