Community, Park Forest

Rich East Grad Is First Recipient Of Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship #TimStrong

Omar Smith Jr., Police Chief Christ Mannino, Deputy Chief Paul Winfrey, Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship
Left to Right, Ofc. Biltgen, Chief Chris Mannino, Mr. Omar Smith Jr., Deputy Chief Paul Winfrey Winfrey, Ofc. Karl, and Sgt. Vallow.

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Rich East High School 2018 graduate Omar Smith Jr. is the inaugural recipient of the Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship. Police presented Mr. Smith the $1,500 award toward his future education at the Village Board meeting of Monday, May 21.

“Omar excelled academically at Rich East High School while being a three sport athlete,” the Park Forest Police Department said in a statement. “Omar plans to major in Criminal Justice at Illinois State University, and now has an entire department rooting for him.”

Mr. Smith is the first winner of the scholarship, named after Officer Timothy Jones who was shot in the line of duty Saturday, March 19, 2016. Officer Jones continues to recover from his injuries, his rehabilitation ongoing.

Police began raising funds for the Officer Timothy Jones Scholarship in November 2017. The criteria include the following:

  • The scholarship will be awarded to one Park Forest high school senior to use when attending college in the 2018-19 school year.

Scholarship applicants must:

  • Reside in Park Forest,
  • Be high school seniors,
  • Have a grade point average of at least 2.75,
  • Have had no significant negative contact with law enforcement,
  • Have had no significant school disciplinary records,
  • Must declare criminal justice as their college major, and
  • Must attend college courses in the 2018-19 school year at any accredited college or university.

A Blue and Red Mass was held at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in March 2018. Officer Tim Jones told WGN in an interview that aired regarding his continued recovery and the mass, “I’m a miracle of God.”

WGN video below the photo gallery from the mass.

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