'Very challenging times': 3 Milwaukee law enforcement officials shot in 2 weeks
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Milwaukee is reeling after three officers were shot in the last two weeks. The violence against police is taking a toll on the brotherhood.
They took an oath to serve and protect. These days, that's also a lot about watching their own back. The stress they're enduring on the job hurts. It's a constant headline lately.
"When you look at the beginning of the year, which is about 27 days ago, we've had an officer shooting just about every day," said Brian Dorow, former deputy assistant secretary, Department of Homeland Security.
New Yorkers lined Fifth Avenue in a sea of support Friday morning as Officer Jason Rivera was laid to rest.
"Close to home. We've had three in a relatively short period of time," said Dorow.
That includes Milwaukee Police Officer Herbert Davis, Deputy Christian Almonte and Detective Andrew Wilkiewicz -- all three now out of the hospital.
"You know, they're not involved in a high-risk drug warrant execution, these are routine calls that they're going to where they are getting injured, hurt or killed. It's very sad," said Dorow.
The uptick in violence against police officers nationwide is taking a toll, with a decline in criminal justice students.
"It's not gradual, it is steep, you know, so the recruitment efforts are being impacted," said Dorow. "That also puts the burden on existing law enforcement officers because now they're working more overtime and being called in on their off days. So it really has an adverse effect on the entire profession."
The last Milwaukee police officer to die in the line of duty was Matthew Rittner in February of 2019.
"Currently we're experiencing some very challenging times," said Dorow.
What the community can do, says Dorow, is stand behind these officers and show support.
"So I can only send a message that hopefully they see that through their family members, their loved ones, the communities that they work in, and I think ultimately that keeps their morale up. Although I will say, it's pretty challenging when one of yours gets injured," said Dorow.
Experts say morale among the ranks is at an all-time low because of a lack of support, the constant worry of citizen complaints and fear of being shot at.