Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Wendolyn Odell Tanner

Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Saturday, September 7, 1996

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Reflections for Police Officer Wendolyn Odell Tanner

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

February 22, 2008

See you on the other side.

Sgt Don "Boots" Jensen Retired
Milwaukee Police Department, Milwaukee, WI

October 13, 2007

Officer Odell Tanner was a friend to many and believed in living and dying for the community he believed in and protected. Thank you for your dedication and you will always be remembered in my heart.

September 25, 2007

O'dell, you have still not been forgotten after 11 years. Your family will always be in my thoughts and prayers.

September 25, 2007

I remember you like it was yesterday. I remember that smile. When we were assigned to District 7 out of the academy you were thrilled. A fast district! You worked 70 and 71 before going into civilian dress...I remember it well. I remember the night that the crazy prostitute jumped into your car at 27th and Capitol...we had a great laugh after that. You told me "Rick, make sure you lock your doors"!

Wow, time flies by...I miss many of us do. God Bless. You will NEVER be forgotten.

P.O. Rick Aztlan
Chicago PD. Former Academy Classmate MPD 04-92

June 16, 2007

Officer Tanner,

Today, on the anniversary of your leaving us in the physical sence, we pay tribute to your spirit. The Evening Watch of the Henry County Georegia Police Department's North Precint will hit the street in your honor. Please watch over us while we continue your fine work.

For the entire shift

Sergeatn V.T. Rosen

Sergeant V.T. Rosen
Henry County Police Department

September 7, 2006

A decade has passed and you have not been forgotten as true heroes never die. My thoughts are with you loved ones on this day, keep watch over them.

Bob Gordon, father of fallen Chicago Officer
Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon, Chicago Gold Star Father

September 7, 2006

Thank you for your service and dedication for the people of your community. Rest In Peace.

Ofc. Eric Chiang
San Francisco Police Department - Bayview District

May 2, 2006

To the family and friends of Officer Wendolyn Tanner and officers of the Milwaukee Police Department:

On behalf of our entire family, we wish to extend our sincerest condolences on the grievous loss you suffered when Officer Tanner was so tragically killed.
Although he was killed nine years ago today, please know that his valor and his bravery has not been forgotten.

How sad that this dedicated young officer died so young leaving a loving family. It is also infuriating that criminals would rather kill to evade arrest than face up to the consequences of their own stupid criminal conduct. What a senseless act.

May you all be comforted by the warm embrace of the circle of love and support from the law enforcement community, and other police survivors.

Our family shares your agony as we lost our beloved Larry Lasater of the Pittsburg, Ca Police Dept. when he was fatally shot during a foot pursuit of two bank robbers. We grieve for you and with you.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the dedicated service Wendolyn gave to his community and the citizens of Wisconsin, and the supreme sacrifice which he and his family made on September 7, 1996.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD eow 4/24/05

September 7, 2005

Rest in peace brother Tanner. Thank you for your service and dedication.

August 22, 2005

On behalf of the men and women of the Virginia State Police we extend our condolences to the family of Officer Wendolyn Tanner and the members of the Milwaukee Police department. It has been said that a man is not measured by the way they died, but by the way they lived. May Officer Tanner's memory live on in the hearts and minds of his family, his fellow officers and the citizens he served.

Senior Trooper
Virginia State Police

January 23, 2005

Rest easy, Brother; you are not forgotten.

Monroe Co. Sheriff Dept. Bloomington, IN USA

June 29, 2004

May God comfort and protect your family
Rest in peace brother-Gone but never forgotten

Walworth Co SO

December 19, 2003

Every year on Sept. 7th, dozens of people gather together to keep Wendolyn's memory alive. This event is coordinated by his mother, his brothers and his sisters. I have been at every anniversary with all the friends and family. It was and honor and a priviledge to have known and worked with such a fine man. I can't think of anyone who cared more about the citizens of this community than him. Wendolyn was the first African American police officer to be killed in the line of duty in Wisconsin and was very proud to be a Milwaukee Police Officer. I want to personally thank those who have left kind words on this site. I know I will never forget him, as he was my partner the night he died. Thank you and God Bless All.

Sgt. Brian Ketterhagen
Milwaukee Police Dept.

October 20, 2003

At the beginning of every shift I supervise, myself and the other officers on shift dedicate the day to the memory of a fallen officer.

Tonight, September 7, 2003 we dedicated the shift to the memory of P.O. Wendolyn Odell Tanner who died on this date seven years ago.

When one law enforcement officer falls, we all stumble for a while, but we will carry on.

P.O. Tanner's sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Sgt. Paul Bissonnette
Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Surrey, BC

September 7, 2003

I pray one day your child should see this site. And that they know their father is a hero. He lives through those who continue the fight for freedom and justice. He went where most fear. May God bring his family comfort.

Deputy M. Moore
Warren County S.O. (OH)

September 7, 2003

May god look over and bless the loved ones you left behind

P.O. Andrew
Chicago PD

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