KANKAKEE – On Friday, House Assistant Minority Leader Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) joined community leaders to honor the life of Bradley Police Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic (End of Watch: December 30th, 2021) with the unveiling of the Sergeant Marlene R. Rittmanic Memorial Highway at the 315 Overpass on Interstate 57. Sergeant Rittmanic was killed in the line of duty after investigating a noise complaint at a Bourbonnais hotel with another officer in December 2021.
“Sergeant Rittmanic made the ultimate sacrifice defending the community many of us in the 79th District call home,” said Leader Haas. “Heroes like Sergeant Rittmanic remind us that when police officers put on their badges, they commit to serve up to the cost of their lives. Yet the dangers they face do not deter them from their service, demonstrating courage only few of us can imagine. This overpass will serve as a legacy for a true Illinois hero who gave her life to protect others, and a wonderful person whose life was taken far too soon.”
Leader Haas introduced House Joint Resolution 15 in February to designate this overpass. It was adopted in the House in April, followed by adoption in the Senate in May. The resolution requested the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) erect appropriate plaques or signs to give notice of this name. Copies of the resolution were presented to IDOT and the family of Sergeant Rittmanic.
Sergeant Rittmanic was a 21-year law enforcement veteran, published poet, amateur photographer, and film producer. She began her career with the Iroquois County Sheriff’s Department in 2000 as a deputy, then joined the Bradley Police Department in February 2007. She was promoted to sergeant in September 2014. She was awarded the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2020 in recognition of her commitment to the Bradley and Kankakee communities. With her wife, she was an avid dog rescuer and was widely recognized as a leader in community policing. She is survived by her wife, sisters, brother, and nieces and nephews.