Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Deputy Sheriff I Ralph Edward Zylka

Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin

End of Watch Thursday, August 17, 2000

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Deputy Sheriff I Ralph Edward Zylka

On behalf of the United States Attorney, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, and support staff for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, we honor law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. During National Police Week the focus is even greater that we never forget the officers and their families. Today, May 14, 2023, we honor and remember you Deputy Sheriff Ralph Edward Zylka . Rest in Peace.

United States Attorney's Office
May 14, 2023

May 14, 2023

Rest in peace always knowing that your memory, service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

August 17, 2020

Deputy Sheriff Zylka,
On today, the 20th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Milwaukee County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R. I.P.

United States Border Patrol

August 17, 2020

Deputy Sheriff Zylka,
On today, the 17th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your Partner for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Milwaukee County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

August 17, 2017

Thank you for your service Sir, RIP

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

April 9, 2012


We worked together only briefly, and you likely would not remember me, but you are not forgotten.


March 9, 2009

Rest in God's loving embrace, hero. You will never be forgotten.

Wisconsin L.E.O.

March 6, 2009

God Speed, Brother.

Union PD, NJ

November 16, 2008

"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

To the family and loved ones of deputy Sherif Ralph Zylka and his fellow officers with the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department:

On this the sixth anniversary of Ralph's tragic death, I wanted to honor and remember him today. Ike's professionalism and dedication will never be forgotten.

In reading the loving reflections left by his friends and co-workers I can see that he was very well respected and is sorely missed.

I hope that God is holding him in the sweetest part of his heart and the most gentle part of his soul.

I am so sorry that Ralph was robbed of his life so tragically, but through his heroism and the profound sense of duty with which he lived his life, he made an immeasurable difference. May his spirit continue to soar and may his memory continue to inspire.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the many years of dedicated service Ralph gave to his community and the citizens of Wisconsin, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on August 17, 2000.

Phyllis L. Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD
eow 4/24/05

August 17, 2006

Time goes by but the memories of you don't!

I miss you Uncle Ralph!

Love Lynn

March 25, 2006

I will never forget all you did!

Your smile is etched on my heart forever!


May 31, 2005

I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies....

Rest in peace, hero.

May 19, 2005

The Chicago Police Department appreciates all you did for our fallen star.

February 22, 2005

Since you have been gone, our world has been turned up side down. We are left here with the questions of why an knowing that we will never have the true answers to those questions. But there is one thing that your leaving our family so quickly, so tragically, is that you need to seize every opportunity, every moment. I make this one promise to you, that I will make sure that you didn't die in vain and that something good comes out of something so bad.

From a loving family member


To Deputy Zylka's family,

My husband was killed in a helicopter accident on February 16th 1997 while on duty in San Diego County. My son was 9 years old and my daughter 5 years. We know very well the pain you are feeling. I urge you to attend the Washington DC Memorial in May. It was a big help to me and my children. There you will meet other survivors that are going through the same feelings you are. It does help.

Jacquelyn K Coyle (SURVIVOR)
San Diego Sheriff Department

May God take you in his arms and stay with your family during this time. You lost your life looking for a suspect wanted for the murder of one of our officers.  Thank have paid the ultimate sacrifice for your dedication to duty.  My words can never be enough to show our gratitude to you.  God Bless you and your family.  You will not be forgotten.


Ralph, All of the sheepshead players miss your deep booming laugh and your infectious sense of humor. None of us have quite figured out how to pick on the red jacks, and win. Everytime we are together playing cards we stop and think about you several times. Personally, as a close friend, I can say that I truly miss you and your desire to help out others, Mark

Captain Mark R. Stieber
Milwaukee County sheriff


k-9 officer

Dear Uncle Ralph

It has been almost 11 months since you were taken away from us. Not a day goes by that we don't think of you, your smile, your jokes... I walk by a picture of you and I lose my breath because I realize that all I have left are memories and it seems so unreal. The happiest days of my life have been since you died and it doesn't seem fair. Tim and I have our miracle, Tim Jr., and have been able to find great joy in being parents for the last 4 months. But I feel so sorry for him because he will never meet his "Great Uncle Ralph". But he will hear the stories and will know my memories because you were so very important in my life. I will never forget you! Love Always, Lynn


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