Chicago Police Memorial Foundation aims to replace 8,000 bulletproof vests

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's National Police Week. The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation aims to help make sure officers are safe by replacing thousands of bulletproof vests.

"Get Behind the Vest" is a campaign to raise $4 million for 8,000 replacement bulletproof vests.

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline is the executive director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation. He joined ABC7 Eyewitness News to explain how the public can help.

PRESS RELEASE

The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's "Get Behind the Vest" campaign will receive a $20,000 grant from The Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation. The donation will be used to purchase 41 bulletproof vests for Chicago police officers.

The "Get Behind the Vest" campaign is an initiative of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation to raise $4 million to help purchase 8,000 replacement bulletproof vests for Chicago police officers. Since its launch in September 2014, more than $1.6 million has been raised and 2,787 new vests have been distributed.

"CPMF and the officers are very grateful to Firehouse Subs for this grant and their continued support of public safety officers," said CPMF Executive Director Phil Cline. "The grant will be used to protect the lives of officers who are currently wearing vests that have expired and may no longer be effective in stopping a bullet. One bullet can change the life of an officer forever."

CPMF is one of nine Illinois public safety organizations receiving grants from the Firehouse Subs Foundation at the Equipment Dedication Event to be held at the Quinn Fire Academy on Tuesday, May 19th at 10 a.m. CST. The total dollar amount of donations is just shy of $200,000.

In 2005, Firehouse Subs created the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation with the mission of providing funding, life-saving equipment, and educational opportunities to first responders and public safety organizations. Since its inception, more than $13 million dollars has been granted and more than 1,000 organizations and communities have been impacted.

Chicago police officers are provided with one vest when they join the department. After that, they are responsible for purchasing all replacement vests. Vests should be replaced every five years due to wear from heat, moisture and storage-sooner if they come in contact with a bullet, which renders them unusable.

The cost of a new bulletproof vest starts at $500. Chicago police officers will contribute 20 percent of the cost, while supervisors will contribute 25 percent to the total cost of the vest.

For more information on the campaign and how to donate please visit getbehindthevest.org.
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