Chicago, Illinois— August 19, 2015 – Energy company Exelon recently provided a sizeable grant to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation in support of its Get Behind the Vest initiative. Through this program, the CPMF hopes to replace more than 8,000 outdated bulletproof vests currently being used by Chicago police officers.
A new Chicago police recruit is issued a bulletproof vest at no charge when they join the Department. Due to wear from heat, moisture and improper storage, vests need to be replaced every 5-7 years –sooner if they come into contact with a bullet. According to the Chicago Police Department, approximately 8,000 Chicago police officers are beyond the five-year warranty on their body armor.
Because of the cost, many officers forgo the $500+ expenditure of a new vest. To encourage more officers to replace their dated body armor, the CPMF launched the Get Behind the Vest initiative late last year with a goal of replacing thousands of outdated bulletproof vests.
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, fifty of the 126 officers killed in 2014 were shot during violent encounters. “Firearm related incidents are on the rise and our officers need these key pieces of equipment to keep them safe. Thanks to Exelon, around 50 eligible Chicago police officers will receive a new bulletproof vest,” said Phil Cline, Executive Director of the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation.
“We are proud to support the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation and its effort to enhance the safety of police officers in our neighborhoods,” said Steve Solomon, Exelon’s vice president of corporate relations. “Having a well equipped police force helps strengthen the communities we serve.”
For more information about the Get Behind the Vest program, please visit www.getbehindthevest.org