'Extremely saddened:' Officials, community leaders react to fatal crash involving officer

MILWAUKEE -- Officials and community leaders are sharing their thoughts and prayers in the wake of a crash that killed a young Milwaukee police officer and injured another. Statements are listed below.

Governor Scott Walker

"Tonette and I send our prayers to the family and friends of Officer Charles Irvine Jr. and to the entire Milwaukee Police Department as they mourn," Governor Walker said. "Charles died while serving to keep his community safe, and his loss is a painful reminder of the dangers faced and sacrifices made by our first responders every single day. We keep Charles' memory in our hearts today and always."

The governor has also ordered flags to be flown at half-staff in honor of Officer Irvine. The order is effective now -- and ends at sunset on the date of internment.

Milwaukee Common Council (joint statement)

"As a body, the Milwaukee Common Council stands and mourns with the family and friends of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine, Jr.

"We can sometimes seem very divided – in these times perhaps more than most. Sacrifices like that made by Officer Irvine remind us of our capacity for service and love of others. Borrowing older words, he poured out the last full measure of devotion to his oath and to this community.

"We express our deepest sympathies to those he leaves behind and commit ourselves to honoring his memory."

Milwaukee Fire Department

Milwaukee County Sheriff Richard Schmidt

“I am extremely saddened to learn of the loss of our fellow officer. This officer gave his life protecting the lives of Milwaukee’s citizens. Our thoughts and prayers are with the officer and his family as we mourn this horrific loss.”

Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission

"The Board of Fire and Police Commissioners wishes to express our deepest condolences to the family of Officer Charles Irvine, Jr. during this tragic time. We also wish Officer Matthew Schulze a speedy and full recovery from his injuries. Our body recognizes the bravery and sacrifice that our city’s first responders display every day, and we appreciate their willingness to serve our community. We send our support to the entire police department as they grieve the loss of one of their own."

Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton

"On behalf of the entire Milwaukee Common Council, I want to express my deepest sympathies to the family of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine, Jr.

"He died in the service of the community he swore to protect.

"The City of Milwaukee will always be grateful for his sacrifice and I want to assure those who knew and loved him of our support in the coming days."

Attorney General Brad Schimel

"Tonight, my prayers are with Milwaukee Police Department and the families of Officer Charles Irvine Jr. and the other officer injured this evening.

"Officer Irvine gave the ultimate sacrifice for his community. May God rest Charles’s soul; and may God watch over the injured officer’s recovery.

"Every day in this state, thousands of law enforcement put their life on the thin blue line for our safety and security. May the safety and wellness of the men and women in blue be in our prayers every day, as we realize the sacrifices they and their families make for our beautiful Wisconsin communities."

Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson

"I am extremely saddened by the death of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine. Officer Irvine entered into a vocation where he could protect and serve our community. He bravely put his life on the line to make sure that our streets are safe from the dangerous scourge of reckless driving. My thoughts and those of the residents of our city and my district where he lost his life are with the family of this 23 year old young man -- including his brothers and sisters in blue during this difficult and unfortunate time."

Sen. Lena Taylor

“I am very sorry to learn of the death of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine, Jr., while in the line of duty and service to our community. I send my condolences to the parents, family, and colleagues of this young officer as well. We know that this is a dangerous job, but it doesn’t make it any easier to lose the life of an officer in this way. I join many in their prayers for the full recovery of the officer who was injured as the two were involved in the pursuit of a reckless driver.”

Milwaukee Alderman Jose Perez

"My deepest condolences go out to the family of Milwaukee Police Officer Charles Irvine, Jr.

"Officer Irvine’s involvement in law enforcement began when he still a teenager. Tragically, just a few years later he is killed in the line of duty at 23-years-old while working to protect the community from reckless driving. Meanwhile, his 36-year-old partner fights for his life.

"I ask that the community continue to keep these brave men and their families in their thoughts and prayers."

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan 

"I’m both shocked and saddened by the tragic news of a Milwaukee Police Officer killed in the line of duty. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Charles Irvine, Jr. who at only 23-years-old was killed upholding his oath to serve and protect his community.  Meantime, his 36-year-old partner fights for his life from a hospital bed. I hope and pray he recovers."

"As the father of an MPD officer a situation like this hits home to my family, perhaps more than most. The challenges that officers face are monumental, especially in this day and age. Don’t just take my word for it. At the hospital last night following the crash, an officer told me very candidly “we’re ones who hold this city together and yet we’re the ones who get criticized the most.” The officer’s words were both true and unfortunately, incredibly ironical.  At a time when so many people are quick to second guess or even ridicule police actions, we are hit with a tragedy like this.  My wish is this incident, at the very least, helps people understand the danger that police officers face and service they provide, a service that all too often goes thankless."

"Politicians like me often say “officers put their lives on the line on a daily basis.” It’s said so often it almost becomes empty words, a cliché. I can guarantee you it wasn’t a cliché last night."

"Again, I ask the citizens of Milwaukee, who are so inclined, to pray for the repose of the soul of Officer Charles Irvine. A man who yesterday put on his uniform, strapped on his gun, and went to work to serve the rest of us –fully anticipating to go back home to his family and his loved ones at the end of his shift. Only this time he went home to God."

Cole Braun, CEO of Lutheran High School Association of Greater Milwaukee & Adam Kirsch, Principal of Milwaukee Lutheran High School

"Officer Charles “Chuckie” Irvine, Jr. who tragically perished on June 7, 2018 while on the line of duty with the Milwaukee Police Department, is a 2013 graduate of Milwaukee Lutheran High School. Chuckie attended grade school at Northwest Lutheran School and is a member of Covenant Lutheran Church. After his successful high school years, Chuckie entered the police cadet program and became an officer with MPD.

"Our sympathies and prayers are extended to his family, friends, and fellow officers. While we grieve his death, we find comfort and hope in knowing that Chuckie knew his Savior, Jesus Christ and that he has entered eternal rest in heaven."

State Representative David Bowen 

"I was very saddened to hear of the loss of MPD Officer Charles Irvine, Jr. while on duty yesterday," Bowen said. "Officer Irvine gave his life in service to our community while pursuing a reckless driver, a problem that continues to plague our city.

"Officer Irvine, his family and fellow officers, as well as those of his partner who is recovering from injuries sustained in this terrible incident, are in my prayers."

Milwaukee Alderman Mark Borkowski

"My deepest sympathies, thoughts, and prayers go out to the family, friends, and the Milwaukee Police Department who are mourning the loss of Officer Charles Irvine Jr. The death of any law enforcement officer is a tragedy for the community they serve and protect.”