Tuesday, February 25, 2020
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South suburbs band together for wounded officer

From time to time, school communities rally in support of police, rather than rising up against the actions of our protectors.

Officer Tim Jones

Such was the case in the southern suburbs of Chicago yesterday, when members of the band from Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields entertained customers during a fundraiser at a local McDonald’s restaurant, the Daily Southtown reports.

Police officer Tim Jones, 24, was shot thrice in the head a few weeks ago in the line of duty and has recovered enough after surgeries at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn to be moved to a step-down rehabilitation facility to continue his recovery.

But members of the community have joined with Rich Central’s band and local businesses to raise $70,000 so far on a GoFundMe page established for Mr Jones, who is a rookie cop in Park Forest and the son of Country Club Hills Police Chief William Jones. The Park Forest Police Department posted an update last week:

Tim continues to need our love, prayers, and support more than ever. Tim continues to fight the battle of his life. Your support has meant so much to Tim’s family and to the Park Forest Police Department and Village. In times of great tragedy comes times of greatness. My humblest gratitude for your continued support.

Officer Timothy Jones, who was critically wounded in the line-of-duty on Saturday, March 19, 2016 after suffering gunshot wounds while attempting to take a suspect into custody, has been released from the Intensive Care Unit of Advocate Christ Medical Center and has been transported to a rehabilitation center at an undisclosed location. Officer Jones is not on life support, and his condition has stabilized to allow transport to this new facility. He is minimally conscious, and while he has a very long road to recovery and his long-term prognosis is uncertain, the steps he has taken in less than three weeks after suffering such a devastating injury give cause for hope, and also demonstrate the strength and will with which he is fighting.

The Park Forest Police Department would like to thank the professional medical staff of Advocate Christ Medical Center for the excellent care of Tim while he was with them, the numerous law enforcement and other public safety agencies that have given support during this time, as well as the incredible outpouring of support from the community. Your continued prayers, concern, and support are greatly appreciated.

Relations between police and schools have been strained elsewhere in the US, especially after several incidents of police using questionable force against students on K-12 campuses. Not in this south-suburban community, mind you, but certainly elsewhere.

A report on Mother Jones following a viral video last month of a Baltimore school police officer slapping a student showed that police officers in the city are trained to ensure “that students and staff have a safe environment in which to learn and teach.” A training lesson obtained by the news site stresses three core roles that each officer should embody: scholar, statesman, and “warrior.”

Two police officers have been charged in connection with the Baltimore incident, and just a few days ago, a police officer in San Antonio, Texas, was fired after a video of him bodyslamming a middle school student on March 29 was found to be inconsistent with his own account of the incident, according to a report in the Christian Science Monitor.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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