Chicago's 'Get Behind the Vest' initiative celebrates new milestone

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.