The color we bleed is that of Deep Blue, the blood that is shed is without asking for who. No time to be afraid, no time to cry, no choice in what we do, where we go or when we die. The color we bleed is that of Deep Blue.
All too often one will pay the Ultimate Price, Those who wear the uniform accept this sacrifice. Beyond the Call of Duty one day might be mine, no regrets, sorrow or fear as I walk the Blue Line. The color I’ll Bleed is that of Deep Blue.
-Marlene Rittmanic 2001
Sergeant Marlene Rittmanic was a Deputy Sheriff in Iroquois County for 7 years and a Bradley Police Officer for 14 years. Within those years of Peace Keeping she excelled as a Police Officer, serving in the Detective Bureau for 8 years, gaining the rank of Sergeant and becoming the Leader in Community Policing.
Outside of work she excelled at being the best wife, best Mom, best woman and most deserving the Absolute Best Part of My World and Bradley’s World.
She was a person of light, love, laughter, joy, charity, hope, grace, courage, commitment, mercy, and compassion. So much compassion for our community that she was de-escalating the scene of her murder up to her last breath.
This picture, every picture of her – while beautiful - does not show just how beautiful she was. I knew the deeply passionate, loving and wonderful woman she was, her laugh, her smile and her personality were beautiful and full of life and love – abundantly infectious.
She knew that every day was not given, and she promised me that she would never let her guard down. Before every shift I said, “I love you, please be careful.” She would always reply I love you and I promise I will.” But on December 29th, she and her partner Tyler Bailey were ambushed by criminals that do not value life.
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 truly was about making her community safe for everyone, she believed – and I’m quoting her “just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”
Marlene was awarded Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2020. She is a published Poet, an amateur photographer and film producer for our family events, Bradley Police Department recruiting and various other community events.
We are grateful for the opportunity to share her story and honor her here with you at the Bourbonnais Friendship Festival.
On December 29th, 2021 Tyler Bailey sustained a gunshot wound in the line of duty. He is currently stable in a rehab facility in the Chicagoland area, where he sees small victories every day. He is no longer fighting for his life but instead fighting to get his life back.
Tyler is a husband, son, brother, dog dad, and friend. The list goes on and on. What many close individuals to him know is that Tyler has always wanted to be a police officer. Growing up in a neighborhood of kids his age, they always played “what do you want to be when you grow up,” and without fail, Tyler was a police officer every single time. He then followed the day-to-day aspirations as a tiny police officer, with dressing up as a police officer every single Halloween. It was in Tyler’s heart and soul that he knew what his purpose was in life. He was made to serve and protect. Tyler’s identity as a police officer is that of a confident and knowledgeable man with empathy for others in need.
His identity however goes far beyond a police officer. Tyler is a son to Darin Bailey and Danielle Hess. He is a brother to Zachary, Linsey, Brayden, Dylan, and Ethyn. He is a grandson, nephew, and cousin to a very loving family. But what people would say is Tyler’s strongest suit, is his ability to be a quality, loyal friend. With his friends, he is an avid fisherman, hunter, White Sox enthusiast, and NASCAR fan. While most of the community sees Tyler as a public servant, he is far more than that.
Tyler made his start into his career in the summer of 2016, when he graduated from Illinois State University with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice.
After attending college, Tyler went on to start his police career. He began attending a part-time police academy on the weekend while working as a security officer. Shortly after, he began as a part-time officer at the Momence Police Department. As he transitioned to a full-time officer, he attended the Southwestern Illinois College Police Academy. After graduating from the police academy, he moved his career to the Bradley Police Department, where he is currently employed now.
After making this transition to a new department, Tyler bought a house in Bradley with his fiancé Sydney. They then got married in October of 2021 and continue to live in the Bradley area, with their dog Tucker.
Tyler’s amazing outlook on life and forever optimistic personality is pushing him through this recovery. His amazing moral and ethic compass is what has sprouted so much of the community’s support that is behind him and has truly shown through the words of the people whose hearts he has touched, every single day.
Tyler’s recovery is going to be a long journey, but we are so incredibly thankful for the outpouring of love and support from our family, friends, coworkers, and community. We are eternally grateful for everything that everyone has done for us and continues to do for us each and every day
Annabelle is 5 years old and Abigail is 2 years old. Annabelle loves babies, her dollhouse, books, tutus, and all things pink. Abigail loves exploring, music, dancing, puppies, and bubbles, and purple (partly because pink has been claimed by her older sister 😉)Both girls love being outside together and going horseback riding at the stables.
Both girls happen to be living with an extremely rare and fatal genetic brain Disease called CLN2 Batten Disease. Their bodies are unable to produce a particular enzyme that works to “clean up” the waste within their brain cells. Living life without this enzyme becomes wrought with incredible difficulty. Although not a cure; the girls are blessed to be able to receive a synthetic version of the naturally occurring enzyme. Each child goes to Ann and Robert H Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago to receive this replacement enzyme infused directly into their brain every two weeks. The Beedle Family shares their daughter’s story in hopes to raise further awareness and get help all children affected.
The Beedle Family voices incredible gratitude towards this entire community for their care, generosity, and support as they travel this most unexpected journey with these two real life princesses.
Most recently, the girls were honored as attendants to the Make A Wish Gala in Chicago at Navy Pier. Mom was able to share about Annabelle’s Wish (A backyard sensory makeover) and how this incredible local community came together to make it a reality!
For more information about Batten Disease and how to help those affected
To follow along with Annabelle and Abigail; they can be found on their Official Facebook Page at “Beedles Braving Batten”