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Fallen officer's father honors legacy, becomes newest Elwood PD reserve officer

Posted at 9:03 PM, Mar 31, 2023

ELWOOD — Friday, Matt Shahnavaz officially became an Elwood Police Department reserve officer.

His son, Noah, was shot and killed in the line of duty eight months ago.

Losing Noah in the line of duty in July of 2022 is a pain that will never go away for his family and brothers and sisters in blue.

"Even today, I think this can't be happening. This isn't my life right now. I can't comprehend what's happened," said Matt Shahnavaz.

His father, Matt, misses his son's big smile and kind heart so much.

"It's really a daily struggle. There hasn't been a day that goes by where at some point in the day tears come and it could be triggered by anything," he said.

He finds healing in the Elwood community.

"Honestly, when I am in this community this building it provides a level of comfort that really helps," said Shahnavaz.

That's why Matt is continuing Noah's legacy starting there.

He is officially Elwood PD's newest reserve officer.

"Noah would be so shocked and surprised," he said.

His role is community engagements.. helping seniors, veterans and more.

The chief surprised him with badge number 139 in honor of Noah who wore badge 39.

"I haven't put the badge on yet. I am still in the stage of wow! I cannot believe I'm holding this in my hand and I am in possession of this. It means a lot to hold in my hand at this point. It's something that Noah wore proudly and he was so happy and proud to have accomplished that dream of his. It was an emotional moment, and it just really means so much," said Shahnavaz.

"I hope it helps them get through things and understand what what a true public servant heart is and that's what their son Noah had. He definitely had a servant's heart," said Elwood Police Chief Jason Brizendine.

The journey getting here wasn't easy, but Noah was known for his passion and dedication.

"He loved his job. He loved helping the citizens of Elwood. He was always looking for ways to help other people. He had such an amazing impact in the time he was given just so sad he wasn't able to provide more and give more. He had so much more to give," Brizendine said.

Noah gives his father strength to keep pushing.

"Noah was the type of person that did hard things. There were a lot of challenges and barriers in his life that he was able to break down and achieve what he wanted to achieve again. It's another way for me to honor him and not let those hard things stop me from achieving this," he said.

Officer Shahnavaz knows his son is proud.

"He's probably looking down right now in awe and just really happy and proud and probably laughing and hearing that laugh of his is what's in my head," he said.

Shahnavaz can start as soon as he's ready.

The requirement for Elwood PD reserve officers is 16 hours a month.

Shahnavaz is hoping he inspires the community and other members of law enforcement.