BRADLEY — Bradley Mayor Mike Watson thanked the community for the love and support shown to the village following the violence committed against two of its police officers.

Describing it as an “unimaginable time,” Watson said the community must continue to come together for the family that laid to rest Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic and for Officer Tyler Bailey, who remains critically injured as a result of the Dec. 29 incident at the Comfort Inn in Bradley.

Watson nor Police Deputy Chief Craig Anderson had an update as to Bailey’s condition. Watson said only that he is continuing to fight for his life and needs “every ounce of positive support we can send.”

Monday was the first village board meeting since the shooting death of Rittmanic and wounding of Bailey.

“Pray for our Bradley municipal team,” Watson said. “The sorrow felt in the police office is beyond grief,” he said. “The bravery in showing up and supporting the injured and fallen is beyond a courage I have seen or will see again in my lifetime.

“We personally thank and support our police department and all our municipal family for the support and love shown during this unimaginable time.”

He then addressed village residents, saying “we need you more than ever.”

“We need your love in the color of blue,” he said. “We need your words and praise and love to show our municipal family they are supported. Thank you for the tremendous outreach of kindness to keep our hearts filled with love as it is the one counterbalance to hate.

“Let’s continue to love each other and show evil it has no place in the Village of Bradley,” he said.

The mayor added that the evil acts of “pure violence” committed are opposite to the virtues and integrity both of these officers bestowed upon the community.

“These wounds will be forever present and the memories never forgotten,” he said.

Lee Provost, an award-winning reporter, has been writing local news stories for The Daily Journal since 1988. He is a lifelong resident of the region. Provost can be reached at