Injured Waseca officer Matson to return home next week

Waseca Police Officer Arik Matson, who was injured in the line of duty on Jan. 6, is set to return home on Monday.

The Waseca Police Department posted the news Wednesday on social media, saying all people are invited to line the sidewalks of State Street, or Highway 13, from Waseca High School to the Public Safety Building at noon to welcome Matson home.

An escort of emergency vehicles will bring Matson through in a drive-by so he can see all those who came out to support him. However, police asked those who attend to follow social distancing guidelines and stay on the sidewalks and off the roadway. The roadway won’t be shut down to traffic.

The Public Safety Building will also be closed from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the parking lot will be closed during that time, too. The department said it does have a limited supply of free Thin Blue Line wrist bands with 22 stars on them to represent Matson’s badge number that people can pick up before Monday.

"The day we have hoped for is finally almost here," said Waseca Police Chief Penny Vought. "Arik will soon be home with his family, his law enforcement family and his friends. We have missed him tremendously and will continue to support him as he recovers from his injuries. We would like to acknowledge and express our deepest gratitude to the first responders, doctors and nurses who saved his life. We also would like to thank the numerous retired and current law enforcement officers who watched over him at various facilities and the essential workers who provided outstanding care to him during his healing journey. Lastly, thank you to the countless number of people throughout Minnesota and the United States who have sent their well wishes to Arik and to us. Your support will never be forgotten."