Vigil held for wounded suburban police officer
PARK FOREST (FOX 32 News) Five police officers in and around Chicago have been shot in the past week. One was Park Forest officer Tim Jones.
Saturday morning he was shot and critically hurt while investigating a break-in. He was rushed to the hospital where he had emergency surgery. He remains in critical condition at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Monday night, Park Forest residents joined together inside St. Irenaeus Church to pray for the rookie officer, his family and all first responders.
“Now we have one of those people who protects us from being shot who has been shot and if that doesn't make you aware of the insidiousness of the violence I don't know what will," said Park Forest Mayor John Ostenburg.
Mia Carter works in community policing with a neighboring department and met Officer Jones at a charity basketball game.
“He just loved being out there and it's kind of contagious when you see people out there like that and it kind of reminded me of why I got in this line of work in the first place," said Carter who, like many at the Monday service, has relatives in law enforcement. “I just feel like every time they leave the house I have to tell them be careful, pay attention and come back home."
Deputy Chief of Park Forest Police Christopher Mannino says law enforcement is changing and it’s getting harder.
“It seems to have gotten more dangerous and yet when we come to event like that with so much support it kind of helps the negativity that's out there right now,” said Mannino.
Jones is in critical, but stable condition - his recovery is one day at a time.
Officers say the display of love and support Monday night helps. It's a pat on the back during a difficult time.
Those interested in signing the message boards of Officer Jones or picking up a blue ribbon can do so at the Village hall of Park Forest.