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The Forest Park Police Department will participate in its first ever Plane Pull at O’Hare International Airport on Sept. 22, with a team of 20 dragging a plane down 12 feet of runway as fast as possible. Proceeds from the event will again benefit Special Olympics Illinois, an advocacy organization that supports individuals with disabilities. 

Officers will either pull a UPS Airbus A300 or United Airlines 737 at United Airlines’ Cargo facility, with each plane weighing more than 180,000 pounds. Detective Mike O’Connor, who also serves as the department’s crime-free multihousing officer, said he wasn’t sure how many teams Forest Park officers would compete against, but last year, he said, 85 teams pulled aircraft down the tracks. 

“So far every event we have done … has had a bunch of support from the community, people donating their time and money, cheering us on; it’s a good feeling,” O’Connor said in an email, adding that the Forest Park Fire Department always makes a “significant financial donation” to the cops’ Special Olympics drives. 

“They come out to volunteer alongside us, or to cheer us on in the law enforcement-only events,” O’Connor said.  

Police aim to raise $3,000 in donations, which will be added on to the nearly $9,000 the department has raised for Special Olympics Illinois so far this year through its Torch Run, Cop on a Rooftop and Polar Plunge events. 

Make a tax-deductible donation to the Forest Park team at Illinoisplanepull.com.  

Nona Tepper