The Bradley Police Department and family of fallen Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic broke their silence regarding the officer's fatal shooting Monday, expressing gratitude for all those who've offered condolences.
Rittmanic was fatally shot Wednesday when officers responded to a noise complaint at the Comfort Inn Hotel on Illinois Route 50. Two people were arrested in connection with the shooting that also critically injured a second officer.
Following the shooting, Rittmanic was transported to an area hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
In a statement, family and Bradley police called the law enforcement officer a "leader in community policing" who would "work together to find a solution that produced the least disruption in people’s lives."
Get Chicago local news, weather forecasts, sports and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Chicago newsletters.
"...She believed – and stated, 'just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.' Meaning – if you have statutory grounds to arrest a person, tow their car, or fine them, doesn’t mean you should. If she pulled over a single mother without a $1 to her name but clearly had violations, she would consider the long-term consequences of creating more debt to someone that is already impoverished," the statement read.
While Rittmanic was recognized as Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2020, she was also a published poet, amateur photographer and film producer for family, police and community events.
"Our world has been turned upside down, obliterated and hopelessly broken," family and police stated.
Loved ones and colleagues went on to express thankfulness for those who "have affectionately gone out of their way to help us get through the
most unnecessary, heartbreaking, painful, deplorable, tragic loss of our lives."
"We are forever indebted to all of you and thank you from the bottom of our
hearts," the statement read.
Funeral arrangements had yet to be released as of Monday afternoon.