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‘Trying to lean on each other:’ Milwaukee’s FPC holds moment of silence for fallen officer

Ray Banks

MILWAUKEE -- As preparations are underway for fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner's funeral, prosecutors are preparing to charge the man police say shot him. At Milwaukee's Fire and Police Commission Thursday evening, Feb. 7 the meeting was paused to pay respects.

"I got to tell you, Officer Rittner was really one of a kind," said Assistant Chief Ray Banks, Milwaukee Police Department.

Assistant Chief Ray Banks is one of Rittner's former direct supervisors.

"It's horrible," Banks said. "We are really trying to lean on each other and trying to keep his memory alive."

Banks helped hand-select Rittner to join the tactical enforcement unit a decade ago. It's a job you cannot apply for inside of MPD, it's reserved for some of the best of the best.

Rittner was part of the entry team who was breaching a door near 12th and Manitoba, to serve a warrant when officers say 26-year-old Jordan Fricke opened fire.

"He was yelling, kind of acting pretty crazy. I did see him resisting arrest right in the street over here," said Sabrina Lillie, watched as Fricke was arrested.

According to court records, Fricke has no adult criminal history. Police say he was wanted on drug and weapons charges.

As the Milwaukee County District Attorney reviews charges, thoughts turn to mourning officers.

La Keisha Butler

"For many of them this is the first time in their careers they've actually come face to face with this reality that they might not come home," said La Keisha Butler, FPC Executive Director.

The executive director of the FPC says she is worried about the fatigue that a third on duty death in just eight months is having inside the department.

"It wears us down," said Banks.

Officers say what is helping the incredible show of support pouring in from around the country.

"Something has to give. We can't keep having these types of situations happening," said Banks.

Investigators wrapped up their work Thursday evening at the scene. All of that evidence is now heading to investigators, where charges are expected in the coming days.

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