PARK FOREST, IL — It was only a matter of time until the often entertaining Park Forest Police Department entered the lip sync challenge taken on by police departments across the country. The video released by the south suburban department on Wednesday has already turned into one of the best as it features Tim Jones, a Park Forest police officer who was shot in the line of duty in March of 2016.
“If we were going to do a lip sync challenge video, we weren’t going to do it without Tim,” Park Forest Police Chief Christopher Mannino said. “With full support of Jones’ family, he made the trip to the Park Forest Police Department for the one day of filming that included him.”
The Park Forest Police Department released a lengthy statement on the inspiration behind the video on its Facebook page Wednesday.
“Jones’ spirit is summed up to many in the Park Forest community through the #TimStrong hashtag that gained popularity after his improbable survival following the March 19, 2016 shooting that nearly claimed his life,” the post read, in part.
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Park Forest’s lip sync challenge not only worked Jones into the production, but made him the star. Two of the songs picked for the three-and-a-half minute music-mix video shared on Vimeo were the Counting Crows’ “Mr. Jones” and Kanye West’s “Stronger,” no doubt a nod to the inspiring officer and the #TimStrong movement.
Featuring Jones in the production is what the department called a “triumphant twist” to the lip sync challenge, something that the department originally decided not to take part in.
“The impact of two gunshots to the head, fired from a suspect Jones was attempting to arrest following a reported residential break-in, resulted in a grave initial prognosis for the then 24-year-old rookie cop. Doctors suggested in the hours that followed the shooting that Jones’ chances of survival were slim,” according to the department.
But not only did Jones survive, although he still has a long road ahead of him and remains in a wheelchair, he has also made strides that were originally thought impossible.
“Jones showcases the strides he’s made in his cameo performance, repeatedly flashing his bright smile and occasionally taking on a lead role, while other officers dance around him and provide assistance by lip syncing some lyrics themselves.”
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Photo via Park Forest Police Department / Vimeo screenshot