Kankakee County has lost a leader in community policing – Marlene believed in people and her ability to speak to the community with respect; meet them where they are in life; try to understand their true needs; and work together to find a solution that produced the least disruption in people’s lives.  To her – the job was about making her community safe for everyone, 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.  She was awarded Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2020 – just to drive home the type of Police Officer she really was. Marlene was also a published poet, amateur photographer and film producer for our family events, Bradley Police Department recruiting and community events.

Marlene’s family and friends 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 deeply beholden and grateful to all of you.

Our neighborhoods have lifted us with blue lights beaming through day and night as well as gifts of food and supplies.  We are forever indebted to all of you and thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

The community of Kankakee County came to a complete stop to stand in the cold to witness our hero, wife, mother, sister, daughter, aunt – Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic-Stua be transferred from Riverside to the Kankakee County Sheriff’s Department and again from the Sheriff’s Department to Clancy Funeral Home.  We saw many familiar faces and complete strangers – We are more than grateful for you all and we know that you too are feeling the loss.  For that, you know justice will have to be swift and reflective of their actions.

The Police Departments – All of them throughout Illinois – there are a lot, we would miss one if we tried to list them, their unconditional, voluntary, gratuitous, all-encompassing service to Marlene, her family and our extended family is meticulously carried out and ongoing.

A very special thanks to Illinois COPS/ 100 Club team, our close friend Teresa Lanie, Katie Novak, Brian Coash, Clancy Gernon Funeral Home and Olivet Nazarene University.

Our world has been turned upside down, obliterated and hopelessly broken.

In lieu of flowers, memorials in her honor may be made to the Marlene Rittmanic Memorial Fund at Federated Bank in Bradley, IL.  Memorials will be accepted at the services and the Clancy Gernon Funeral Home in Bourbonnais, IL which is assisting with arrangements. The family is not utilizing any online crowdfunding sources.

Additional information will be released in the coming days.

ISP press release