Minnesota senators introduce resolution to observe Officer Arik Matson Day

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Two Minnesota senators on Thursday introduced a resolution to honor a Waseca officer who was shot in the head while responding to a suspicious person report last month.

Senators John Jasinski, R-Faribault, and Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, proposed making Feb. 22 Officer Arik Matson Day in Minnesota. The date (2/22) was chosen in honor of Matson's badge number, 222.

The senators said the day would be to honor not only Matson, but all law enforcement and first responders who risk their lives each day while serving their communities.

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According to a news release, the idea was brought to Miller and Jasinski by Matson's uncle, Gary Langerud.

"Men and women like Arik risk their lives protecting us every day, and until tragedy strikes they do it out of the spotlight and without recognition," Langerud in a statement. "With the connection of Arik's badge number and February 22, I thought it would be the perfect day to honor everything they do for us. I'm also asking everyone to set an alarm on their phone and at 2:22 p.m., take a minute to thank God for the prayers that He has answered for Arik so far, to pray his recovery continues to go smoothly, and to pray for the safety of all law enforcement officials."

"Officer Matson's shooting affected not just Waseca, but the entire state," said Sen. Jasinski, who represents Waseca.

"When constituents bring us ideas like this and show such strong support for others, it makes me proud to call Minnesota home," added Sen. Miller. "Some of the best issues we work on here at the Capitol come straight from citizens who are passionate about an idea; this is one of the best examples of how those grassroots efforts can be successful. I'm thankful that Gary brought this idea to us. It's clear Officer Matson has a strong network of support around him, and I am praying for his continued recovery. I'm very appreciative of the risks law enforcement and public safety officials take each and every day to help keep our communities safe."

Waseca Police also announced Wednesday night that Waseca Mayor Roy Srp proclaimed Feb. 22, 2020, as Officer Arik Matson Day, and that at least two other proclamations are recognizing Matson on that date.

"We are honored that so many of our residents and residents from our surrounding communities and throughout the State of Minnesota and other States are continuing to support Arik and his family and friends. Please keep thinking positive thoughts for Arik because they are WORKING!!!" the department said.

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Tyler Janovsky, 37, was charged with three counts of first-degree attempted murder of a peace officer in connection with the incident.

Matson's family has tracked his progress as he continues his recovery and shared frequent updates on a CaringBridge page. Just last week, Matson's tracheostomy tube was removed and he had his longest assisted walk to date.