Marlene Rittmanic

Bradley Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic

Every day that an officer of the law puts on his or her uniform and heads out the door is a day that they might not walk back through that same door.

It’s a thought they must face every day. Every single day.

Every time they approach a car during a routine traffic stop, it could be the last act of their lives.

Every time they serve a warrant to bring in a suspect, it could be their last attempted arrest.

And, as we have learned so tragically in recent days, every time they attempt something as simple as addressing a noise complaint, they might not make it home.

That terrible fear turned into a tragic reality for Bradley Police Sgt. Marlene Rittmanic.

What happened outside room 308 of the Comfort Inn in Bradley speaks volumes about the dangers law enforcement officers face day in and day out.

It also speaks volumes about the men and women behind those badges. These individuals know the risk they’re taking, and yet they do it anyway. Every day. Over and over again. And they do it for us. They put our safety above their own.

And when an officer is killed in the line of duty, the entire community mourns. It is such a blow to the community’s heart because these men and women leave the safety of their homes on our behalf. They died for us, making the loss so personal.

And Rittmanic’s death is so very personal. It’s a loss amplified by the true depth of her commitment to the community and to those who call it home. Her humble and empathetic approach to policing was admirable.

For that, and so much more, we thank her from the bottom of our hearts.

And to her family, we extend our deepest sympathies and assure them that her sacrifice will not be forgotten.