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‘You Will Always Be Family’: Law Enforcement Honors Fallen Milwaukee Officer Matthew Rittner

Angelina Mosher Salazar
Law enforcement officials hang a flag in preperation for a procession honoring Matthew Rittner.

Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner was buried Wednesday, on what would have been his 36th birthday. He was fatally shot on Feb. 6 while executing a search warrant. His memorial service was held at The Assembly of God Church in Oak Creek.

Thousands filled the church in Oak Creek to commemorate the fallen officer. Some law enforcement officials traveled thousands of miles to honor Rittner, who served 17 years on the Milwaukee Police Department.

His former partner on the force, Matthew Maury was among those who eulogized Rittner. "Matt was an absolutely incredible friend, a great man and a great partner," said Maury.

Maury went on to speak about the special bond that develops between partners in law enforcement. "You develop a bond that is difficult to put into words. For most of the veteran police officers here, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For you younger officers, I hope that you’ll be as lucky as I was to have a partner like Matt," said Maury.

"Matt was an absolutely incredible friend, a great man and a great partner," Matthew Maury said.

Another law enforcement official who gave remarks at the service was Milwaukee Police Lt. Derrick Harris, who is commander of the specialized patrol division that Rittner belonged to. Harris expressed the deep sorrow Rittners loss has caused.

"I say to myself, 'I’m a Marine. Marines don’t cry' But that's not the case ... they cry because they care about each other. We cry because Matt was our brother. His loss has left a huge void. That old building away on Vliet Street, our home away from home, will never be the same," he said.

Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales gave the closing remarks: "Nobody forces us to be cops. We volunteer to do this job because we believe we make a difference. We believe we are a part of a greater good. We do this because it is the right thing to do, not the easy thing to do. Matthew will live inside each and every one of us. You will always be family."

Angelina Mosher Salazar joined WUWM in 2018 as the Eric Von Broadcast Fellow. She was then a reporter with the station until 2021.
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