CHICAGO - The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation announced it will continue the "Get Behind the Vest" initiative for the foreseeable future.
The program, which began seven years ago, set a goal to purchase 8,000 new bulletproof vests for Chicago police officers.
To date, it has provided 11,717 lifesaving vests, which are considered to be a part of an officer’s everyday uniform.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown credits the vests to saving the lives of 47 Chicago officers since the 1980s. Officer James Kurth survived a shooting in July. It was the first time he wore his new vest.
"I responded to an incident right outside the station and ran just a tad bit too far, at which time, I ended up getting hit in the vest on my left shoulder. I do believe it saved my life that day," Officer Kurth said.
The Chicago Police Department provides each officer with a vest at the beginning of their career. The equipment must be replaced every five years at the expense of the officers. A vest typically costs $500.