BRISTOL, Conn. (WTNH) — Within days, a cruiser parked outside of the Bristol Police Department turned from a symbol into a living memorial for two officers killed in the line of duty.

Words of comfort were written on the sides. Cards were stacked onto it. Stuffed animals were left. Even on Tuesday, three months after the deaths of Lt. Dustin DeMonte and Sgt. Alex Hamzy, officers still maintained the flowers on its roof.

“It was heartfelt thoughts and emotions, and we don’t want to get rid of those,” Bristol Mayor Jeff Caggiano said.

While talks continue about what to do to permanently honor the officers, officials have made one decision clear — the cruiser will be preserved for now. The plan is to bring the vehicle inside to protect it from the New England winter nipping at the emotions left behind.

While discussing ideas for the memorial on Tuesday, the community discussed how to incorporate the cruiser into what comes next.

“It’s going to be hard to just take this car and plop it somewhere, and put it in a glass enclosure maybe outside the PD,” Caggiano said. “That’s not going to happen. But, perhaps taking the doors off and preserving them, as that’s where most of the writing is.”

Prior to the deaths, there were plans to erect a memorial for three officers who were lost in the line of duty in the 1930s and 1940s. The idea was to take half a wall at the department to create a clean, serene, sharp memorial.

While Caggiano said the handwritten notes can’t be preserved long-term, they could be shredded and made into benches.

Ideas tossed around Tuesday included creating a reflecting pool, monument, or cobblestone walkway. A memorial could be incorporated into the new city hall building, which is scheduled to be completed by late fall.

The cruiser isn’t going far. It will be moved into the parking garage. Messages can still be left at the police department.