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Farmington Police and Fire host benefit flag football game for injured officer

Officer James O’Donnell was injured on the job on September 20

FARMINGTON, Conn. — The community came together in support of a Farmington police officer injured in the line of duty in September. The Farmington police and fire departments hosted a benefit flag football game on Saturday night to raise money for Officer James O'Donnell's family.

O’Donnell was injured on the job on September 20. Police said he encountered a stolen vehicle, which hit him and pinned him between his cruiser and their car. He is recovering from multiple broken bones and surgery. 

“Right now he is only able to do physical therapy on the upper half. The lower half is not weight-bearable yet," Kris O’Donnell, the officer's wife, said. “We’re hoping that he comes home soon.”

RELATED: GRAPHIC VIDEO: Dashcam footage shows moments when Farmington police officer was hit by fleeing vehicle

O’Donnell made an appearance at a flag football game in his honor Saturday night. 

“Coming together, especially for Officer O’Donnell putting his life on the line,” Farmington Fire Department Lt. Chip Anthony said. “The support from the community and in this town is just awesome.”

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Kris O'Donnell said her husband will undergo physical therapy for the next several months.

Both of the O'Donnells work in public service. Officer O’Donnell is a three-year veteran with the Farmington Police Department and his wife works in the judicial branch. She now advocates for legislative changes to protect police officers after what happened to her husband - calling for a reconsideration of HB 6004.

“There were pursuit issues that are in the bill, there are search and seizure issues that are in the bill and there’s also the issue that of qualified immunity. These three things restrict the ability of police officers to safely do his jobs,” she said.

RELATED: Wife of injured Farmington police officer calls for accountability as suspect arrested

All the proceeds from Saturday's night game and concessions will go directly to the O’Donnell family.

“I can’t thank the town of Farmington enough for what they have done. I can’t thank the citizens of Connecticut for reaching out and I can’t thank the public enough for even having the conversation about police accountability and what we need to do to keep our streets safer," Kris O'Donnell said.

There is an online fund set up for the O’Donnell family.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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