MILWAUKEE -- Three of Milwaukee's finest were honored Wednesday, May 8. Milwaukee County law enforcement agencies gathered to remember officers killed in the line of duty at the 2019 Greater Milwaukee Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony.
"We are stronger than ever, despite our losses," said Milwaukee Police Association President Shawn Lauda.
The ceremony is held every year. Wednesday's was the most difficult in more than two decades as it followed the deaths of three officers in eight months.
"As I stand here, you can see three empty chairs. Three uniformed MPD caps. That's to signify Chuckie Irvine, Mike Michalski, and Matthew Rittner," said Lauda.
The law enforcement officers who took an oath to protect and serve made one more -- promising to continue the good work of the brothers they lost and watch over the families they left behind.
"They will never be forgotten," said Milwaukee Police Chief Alfonso Morales.
"I've been struck over and over and over again by how much these men were loved and how much they loved their families," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
"We are all one family in this together," said Lauda.
Chief Morales said his department is still grieving. He told the crowd they must use the officers' smiles, laughs, and memories to carry them through the toughest of days.