Kaitie Leising Is 4th Wisconsin Law Enforcement Death Of 2023

4th Officer

The death of Deputy Kaitie Leising of the St. Croix County Sheriff’s Office marked the fourth officer killed in the line of duty in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin in the last four weeks. Those in the law enforcement community are calling it a “disturbing trend.”

“I don’t know what’s going on with the world, but something’s got to change,” said Megan Matson, the wife of former Waseca police officer Arik Matson who was severely injured in the line of duty in 2020.

“Every day we put on that uniform we expect to come home but the reality is it isn’t happening like it used to,” said Arik who was shot in the head when responding to a routine call. “It breaks my heart.”

According to the Wisconsin Professional Police Association, Leising’s death marks the fourth law enforcement killing to occur in Wisconsin in 2023, and is the most the state has lost in a single year since 2000.

“This is a shocking trend that I have not observed in my entire career,” said retired St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell.

Axtell retired in 2022 after serving the city of St. Paul for 34 years. He now runs private law enforcement consulting firm the Axtell Group.

“You go to a routine call and end up in a gun battle,” said Axtell. “Its just something that we haven’t observed at this level in a long, long time.”

In a statement, the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association said in part, “We must reflect on how we got to this point. Criminals have no fear as they engage law enforcement with deadly force. At the same time, political leaders are pursuing ‘reform’ proposals which would make the job less safe for public safety officials.”

Megan Matson now offers her support to law enforcement spouses, as so many have reached out with the recent news. Tonight, she offered a special message to Deputy Leising’s family:

“I’m sorry that you had to become a statistic. It never should have happened,” she said. “You are not alone – Even if in your darkest moments it feels like it.”

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