A local hero will always be remembered by Brandon drivers thanks to a ceremony that took place last month.
The 2021 Legislature of Florida designated SR 60 from Philip Lee Blvd. to I-75 as Sergeant Brian LaVigne Rd. in honor of the fallen sergeant who was killed in the line of duty on January 11, and last month, Representative Andrew Learned, along with other members of the Florida Legislature, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister and Hillsborough County Commissioner Kimberly Overman, honored the late Sergeant Brian LaVigne during an unveiling of his road plaque.
LaVigne, who was 54, had one more day of work before retiring after 30 years when a fleeing suspect crashed into the driver’s side of his cruiser.
“Sergeant Brian LaVigne will never be forgotten, and this will serve as another reminder of his selfless service to his community until the very end of his life,” said Chronister. “Now when people drive down this stretch of roadway, they will be reminded of the legacy and impact left by Sergeant LaVigne.”
LaVigne’s wife, Cathleen, also spoke at the ceremony and explained that in addition to being an officer, her husband was a loving father to his daughters, one of whom, Caitlin, is also a deputy with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office. He received many professional achievements in his career, including being named Deputy of the Half in 1992 and receiving the Sheriff’s Office Life Saving Award in 2017.
“This designation is not for the way Sergeant LaVigne died. This memorial is how he lived,” Learned said. “To the 29 years, 361 days of his service to the people of Brandon.”
The dedication of the roadway was made possible thanks to a bill, SB 1716, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in June. The measure named sections of roadways for three fallen officers, including LaVigne.
At the time, DeSantis spoke about the importance of the recognition the measure allowed.
“What we do here today, I know, is not going to unring the bells, but I do think that it’s an appropriate recognition, and I think it’s a signal to say we’re not going to forget their sacrifices,” DeSantis said. “We’re not going to forget what they did to protect our communities.”