Several officers with the La Crosse Police Department paid their respects at the funeral of Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner Tuesday afternoon.
Sergeant Tom Walsh said it was important that the department have presence at the service.
“It affects all of us,” Walsh said. “It could happen to any of us and we’re all well aware of that. When it does happen we want to rally together and support the agency that it occurred to.”
Rittner, an Iraq war veteran, was shot and killed last week while trying to execute a search warrant.
Despite many in attendance not knowing Rittner, Walsh explained that with law enforcement, professional colleagues seem like family.
“This is something that we are called to do,” Walsh said. “We take tremendous pride in our work and we try to make sure everyone is able to come home at the end of their shift. When someone doesn’t make it home, we take it very personally.”
The department has several services available to officers, including mental health treatment, to make sure they are coping with job trauma.
Wednesday would have been Rittner’s 36th birthday.
The suspect in Rittner’s death is being held in jail on a $1 million cash bond.