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Squad car of Jupiter officer killed in line of duty to be donated to museum

Posted at 7:20 PM, Aug 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 19:20:30-04

JUPITER, Fla. — A Jupiter cop’s memory will live on forever, thanks to his dedicated brothers in blue.

Motorcycle officer Bruce St. Laurent was tragically killed in September 2012 when he was hit by a pickup truck while helping block traffic for president Barack Obama’s motorcade. He was 55 years old and a 20 year veteran of the Jupiter Police Department.

Now, a piece of his life will be memorialized in a national museum in Florida.

“He was much more than a police officer or a motorman,” said Officer Rob Volpe, St. Laurent’s partner and friend for two decades. “He was a family man, loved his wife and his children very much.

Seven years after the tragedy, Officer Volpe is paying respects to his old partner who is gone but never forgotten.

“Bruce’s legacy is something that we at the Jupiter Police Department want to honor,” he said.

After St. Laurent’s death, his squad car was passed along to fellow officers.

“I kept a close eye on it,” said Chuck Jones, fleet operations supervisor for the Town of Jupiter. “We’re just trying to hang onto anything of him we could.”

But after several years, old cars are normally stripped and sent to auction.

“He did so much for the community, I wasn’t going to let his car slip away,” said Jones.

Over the last year or so, Jones said he called everyone he could think of to find a home for the car. Everyone from the Obama family to state representatives and museums across the state — he finally found help through Rep. Lois Frankel’s office. Jones said she and her aides quickly secured a new and permanent home for the car.

Next week, St. Laurent’s Chevrolet Impala will be donated to the National Armed Services and Law Enforcement Memorial Museum in Dunedin, Florida.

Graphic designers created a special emblem on the hood with St. Laurent’s name and End of Watch date. A motorcycle wheel with wings is set on the car’s rear window panel.

“This is something that will carry the memory of Bruce for a long, long time,” said Volpe. “To stand next to this vehicle and know that it represents Bruce and it will for all time as a museum piece, makes me very happy.”

Those who knew St. Laurent remember him as a selfless officer who would dress as Santa and give toys to underprivileged children every year.

“We’d ride down Indiantown Road together, Santa Claus and myself. I was his elf basically,” joked Volpe.

St. Laurent also helped build homes for Habitat for Humanity and was the first to sign up for anything involving community work in the town. On his own dime and idea, he bought a basketball hoop and a ball to present to a family in need.

“He was always looking to see what he could do to make people’s lives more improved, to make a difference,” said Volpe.

In essence, he embodied the spirit of Jupiter.

“He was always involved in trying to make other people’s better, whether he was on the job or off the job,” said Volpe.

The squad car will be towed carefully to the west coast on Monday.

It’s a piece of St. Laurent’s story that will live on in a museum for future generations to see.

“Brings me to tears after 7 years,” said Jones. “Bruce was a lot of people’s best friend. It’s our way of giving him a send-off.”

The Town of Jupiter would like to issue thanks to the following:

  • Felicia and Hannah of Rep. Frankel’s office
  • William Douglas of the National Armed Services and Law Enforcement Memorial Museum
  • Current and former town managers of Jupiter
  • Current and former police chiefs
  • Graphic designers Jenice and Todd
  • Mechanic staff at Town of Jupiter Public Works - Mark, Danny, and Dave