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Chicago Police Memorial Foundation donating $1 million for bulletproof vests for CPD

Former Chicago Police Superintendent Phil Cline, executive director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation, said his foundation has raised $1 million to buy 2,500 new bulletproof vests for Chicago Police officers.

Cline on Monday told the Daily Whale the foundation’s funding comes from a “reserve fund” and is part of the broader Get Behind the Vest initiative. Through the program, the foundation hopes to raise $4 million for the purchase of 8,000 new bulletproof vests. The Chicago Sun-Times reported Cline would deliver the initial funding to the Chicago Police Department on Tuesday.

The former police chief said officers’ bulletproof vests have a recommended lifespan of five years and are classified as defective once they are struck with a bullet. He explained that many Chicago officers are wearing outdated vests.

“We know there’s a lot of officers out there with vests that are 10-15 years old that should be replaced, but [officers] financially can’t afford to do it right now,” Cline told the Daily Whale. “They’ve got kids in school and dental bills and other things.”

Cline said the foundation hopes to raise the additional $3 million necessary to replace 5,500 more vests over the next three years.

To donate to the Get Behind the Vest initiative, visit GetBehindtheVest.org.

-Tom Butala