‘He deserves the respect:’ Milwaukee community mourns fallen officer

MILWAUKEE -- A memorial continues to grow near 76th and Silver Spring on Friday, June 8, as tragedy has touched hearts all over the area and in different walks of life. Gestures show a care and concern for those who put their lives on the line on a daily basis.

American flags wave in the wind as people say goodbye to officer Charles Irvine Jr.

Remembering Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

Remembering Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

"This officer was doing his job and made the ultimate sacrifice," said John Jeffery, who is paying their respects.

The 23-year-old was killed in a horrific crash after a pursuit -- trying to stop a suspect that police say has a lengthy criminal history.

"When one of them dies protecting us, it our duty to show our respect," said Timothy Nelson, who is paying their respects.

Remembering Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

Flowers were laid and candles were lit as prayers were said for Irvine's family and the department.

"It means a lot to the person who's mourning that man who lost his life," Marion McCarey, who is paying their respects.

Tears were also shed a short distance away at MPD District 4 where a squad sat in front of the station draped in a black band.

Remembering Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

Remembering Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

"He deserves the respect and the honor," McCarey said.

Pastor Alexis Twito

As his fellow brothers and sisters in blue paid their own tribute, Pastor Alexis Twito said the Salvation Army has been a huge comfort.

"Provide a caring presence to let them know they are not alone," Twito said.

Twito said chaplains have been at the hospital, scene and station providing support.

"We are simply there asking how they are doing checking in with them offering prayers," Twito said.

MPD hasn't had a death in the line of duty in 22 years  and this tragedy is hitting them hard.

"This is definitely different from any other scene that we've been to," Twito said. "As anyone can imagine they are really torn up about this."

Remembering Officer Charles Irvine Jr.

Helping the mourning process so they can find strength to go forward.

"It's hard to imagine the courage it takes to live in this moment of difficult grief but to know you have a job to do," Twito said.

Chaplains will continue to have a presence and be at all roll call shift changes for the next four days. Meanwhile thoughts are also going out to Irvine's partner who was seriously injured in the crash.