Gifts Are Left On The Car Of A Fallen Police Officer, But This Note Leaves A Mark On The Community

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Gifts Are Left On The Car Of A Fallen Police Officer, But This Note Leaves A Mark On The Community

A few days after Charles Irvine Jr. of Milwaukee died in a car accident while pursuing a suspect, 12-year-old Avant Turner walked by the memorial for the officer in front of the Police Department’s District 4 station.

The young boy couldn’t help but notice a police car that was covered in black and had beautiful flowers and gifts from people in the neighborhood. There were so many that Avant could hardly see the car underneath.

Avant didn’t know who owned the police car at first, so he looked at the picture of the officer that was among the flowers. He could not believe that it was a police officer that he knew. They had made a connection that not many people in the community knew about.

His friend’s death hurt him more than he thought it would. He knew that he had to do something…

He went to school and decided to write a note for him. It was a heartfelt letter that touched everyone who was able to read it.

As it turned out, the 12-year-olds’ letter was probably the most personal of all the gifts and flowers that were brought to honor the police officer.

Irvine, who was called “Chuckie” by his friends and family, always knew he wanted to be a police officer. He worked in District 4, which is in the northwest part of the city. He and his partner, Officer Matthew Schulze, were traveling when they started chasing a driver on West Silver Spring Drive near 76th Street.

Schulze was hurt badly in the crash, but he has since gotten better. Irvine however, was pronounced dead at the scene. At the time of his death, Irvine was the first Milwaukee officer killed in the line of duty in 22 years.

The suspect that they have been chasing was 29-year-old Ladell Harrison. He was charged with 11 felonies and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

In a statement, Rissa Martinez, Irvine’s fiance, said that time has not made his death easier. She shared, “I still feel like I died with him. Nothing feels right without him and it hurts. My head still can’t process the fact that he’s gone.”

This heroic act will never go unnoticed…

Several local organizations came together to make Irvine’s memorial plaque a reality. They did this to honor his courage and strength. The plaque is near grass that belongs to the county, a bridge that belongs to the state, and a street that belongs to the city.

This cooperation included getting a permit from the state Department of Transportation to put the plaque on county land and helping the city Department of Public Works prepare the area and put up the plaque, saving money on labor.

Police Chaplain George Papachristou, Police Chief Alfonso Morales, Mayor Tom Barrett, District 2 Ald. Cavalier Johnson, state Sen. Lena Taylor and District 4 Police Capt. Heather Wurth all spoke during the commemoration ceremony at 7600 block of West Silver Spring Drive.

In an earlier interview, Johnson shared that the level of inter-agency cooperation to make this happen was a credit to how much Irvine was respected and admired. He said, “We have your back.” Johnson added that he hopes the plaque will remind people of Irvine’s life and the cause of his tragic death.

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