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The Bennington community is coming together to support one of its own.

Bennington’s Police Chief Les Johnson sustained serious injuries after taking a fall while off duty, and a donation fund has been established to help him through “an extensive healing and rehabilitation period,” which will require “help with medical bills and daily living expenses,” according to a social media post that was shared by the Fremont Police Department.

When Johnson fell, he hit his head on the concrete, according to Bennington Police Sergeant Tim Pittman. He broke his arm, suffered a spinal cord injury and fractured his eye socket.

“It looks like it’s going to be a long recovery for him,” Pittman said.

The fund was started on Thursday by one of Bennington’s reserve officers, who works at Douglas County 911, along with some others at the 911 center, Pittman said.

“We’ve just been kind of spreading the word since then,” he said.

The community response has been powerful, Pittman added.

“Everybody has come together and I’ve just been overwhelmed the last few days, with everybody being concerned,” Pittman said. “It’s been quite an overwhelming thing to see the support that comes out.”

Pittman was unaware of how much money had been raised by press time.

Johnson is a beloved and highly involved member of the Bennington community, Pittman said.

“He’s been the chief here for 13 years and he was an officer before that for several years,” Pittman said. “Everybody in the community knows him, everybody is 100 percent behind him. He’s just a big influence to everybody in the community, and our department, we’re all missing him, and we’re just hoping for a speedy recovery.”

Interested donors can give to either branch of the Bank of Bennington. The main branch is located at 12212 North 156th St., in Bennington, and there is another location at 15645 Spaulding St. in Omaha.

Donations can be made in person or by mail.

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