Hundreds turnout for fallen officer fundraiser by SURG Restaurant Group
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The Milwaukee Police Department continues to heal from the loss of its fallen officers, but they have strong community support to back them up.
Hundreds came out for the 'MPD Fallen Heroes Fundraiser' at Surg on the Water hosted by SURG Restaurant Group. “This shows the community wants to come forward and support the police, we've always been big backers of the police. They go out there and risk their lives every day,” said Omar Shaikh, president of SURG.
The last several months have been a roller coaster of emotions for members of MPD. Three officers were killed in the line of duty in eight months -- Charles Irvine Jr., 23, Michael Michalski, 52, and Matthew Rittner, 35.
“You start to heal from Chuckie's incident, and then you have the Michalski incident that takes place," said MPD Lt. Erik Gulbrandson. "You start to heal a little bit from there and move on, and then all of a sudden the Matthew Rittner incident comes about."
The fundraiser will help support the family of officer Rittner. It'll also raise money for members of the police force and the Irvine and Michalski families to travel to Washington D.C. as their names are added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in May.
A silent auction was held, with some top Wisconsin athletes donating impressive items.
"I thank Ryan Braun and Christian Yelich, they donated a lot of the items. A lot of the athletes, experiences. A lot of people involved here," Shaikh added.
Members of the law enforcement community said they appreciate the outpouring of support.
“To me, it’s moving. It’s touching. I'm actually very proud of my community for stepping up and showing support for our policemen that have made the ultimate sacrifice," said Shawn Lauda, president of the Milwaukee Police Association.
Police Chief Alfonso Morales and Sheriff Earnell Lucas were also in attendance.