One Year Later, Wounded Park Forest Cop “Improving Every Day”

CHICAGO (CBS) — Sunday marks the one-year anniversary since a south suburban police officer was shot and critically wounded, and Officer Tim Jones is still very much on the minds of the community.

Jones, 25, was shot in the head while investigating a burglary in a vacant house on March 19, 2016.

“He’s recovering. It’s a long and difficult road, but it’s one he’s going down every day; improving every day,” said Park Forest Deputy Police Chief Christopher Mannino. “It obviously hasn’t been easy. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, but he’s really showed an incredible amount of strength and grit in getting to where he’s at today.”

In a Facebook post, the Park Forest Police Department said it can provide only limited updates on Jones’ condition, out of respect for his privacy.

Mannino said there have been limited opportunities for Officer Jones to take visitors, but Park Forest police officers visit him whenever those opportunities arise.

“As far as him still being on our minds, I can tell you his locker is still here untouched. He still has his mail drawer. It’s as if he can walk back in any moment that he’s ready to,” Mannino said.

Although some people have kept blue ribbons up on their property in Park Forest since last year, the village has encouraged everyone in the community to put up blue ribbons this weekend in a show of continued support for Jones and his fellow officers.

“There has been, since Day One, an incredible amount of community support. That’s really meant a lot; both to Tim and his family, and us as a police department family,” Mannino said.

There will also be a special “Blue Mass” in honor of police at St. Irenaeus Church at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

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