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Community tailgate helps expecting widow of fallen Officer Matthew Rittner

NOW: Community tailgate helps expecting widow of fallen Officer Matthew Rittner

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- People in the community are pitching in to help the family of fallen Milwaukee Police Officer Matthew Rittner, who died in the line of duty earlier this year.

A tailgate Thursday evening raised money to support Rittner's wife, Caroline, in anticipation of the birth of their second child in October.

Police officers, elected officials, and even Bucks and Brewers mascots all gathered for the tailgate Thursday night.

The Greenfield High School marching band kicked off the event. Officer Matthew Rittner graduated from the school.

The district announced a new annual scholarship for hardworking students who are focused on service to the community. 

"We wanted it really to go to somebody who totally embodies who he is all about," said Greenfield School District Superintendent Lisa Elliot.

Officer Rittner was killed in the line of duty in February while executing a search warrant.

"These guys go do the same job that Matt got murdered doing every day," said Capt. Derrick Harris of the Milwaukee Police Department. "It's tough. It's good to have events like this so we can kind of see the good side of the community."

The Milwaukee Police Department says it's important to see their community behind them.

"It's kind of that fuel that keeps us going. So it's very nice to see the outpouring of support tonight," Harris said.

It's something Jessica Mazur, who attended the tailgate, is teaching her young daughter.

"We really need to show our respect for them and show them that we do care in all situations, she said.

Officer Rittner's wife, Caroline, learned she was pregnant shortly after his death. All of the money raised will go to her as she gets ready to welcome their second child in October.

"Because of those special challenges, it's very, very important that we're here tonight to support her as she brings new life into this world," Mayor Tom Barrett added.


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