MILWAUKEE -- It's been almost a month since we lost an officer of the Milwaukee Police Department -- the third in less than a year for the city. On Saturday, March 2 the community stepped up in a big way by hosting a fundraiser for the department's fallen heroes.
It was a packed house inside SURG on the Water for the event. Every inch of it was filled with someone wanting to show MPD their support.
"It's for the families of Chucky Irvine, Michael Michalski and Matthew Rittner," said Lt. Erik Gulbrandson, Milwaukee Police Department.
A show of support for the police department still dealing with a tremendous loss.
"A lot of citizens that are coming in and showing their support, which means a lot. I know it touches my heart," said Gulbrandson.
In the span of eight months, three officers lost their lives in the line of duty.
"I can't imagine how emotionally challenging that is," said Tina Change, SysLogic Inc.
"Trying to do something good out of a horrible situation," said Omar Shaikh, event organizer.
Omar Shakh and a team of collaborators wanted to put together a fundraiser in response. It was a combination of merchandise sales, a silent auction and live auction. Proceeds will go toward travel expenses for Irvine and Michalski's families. The officers' names will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in Washington, D.C.
"I felt the community was going to come together but logistically putting together an event in two-and-a-half weeks is a bit stressful," said Shaikh.
Part of the proceeds will also go toward Officer Rittner's family. Due to scheduling, the event came together in a short time-span but the hard work paid off. The packed event brought supporters from across the city.
"It showed that at the end of the day we're there for each other," said Kalan Haywood, attended fundraiser.
A true show of unity for three heroes that will never be forgotten.
"The public got to see what the majority of the police department is about," said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.
FOX6 News was told Officer Rittner's name will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial wall in the year 2020.