Fundraiser helps police stay safe with new bulletproof vests

CHICAGO -- On the surface it looked like a typical pancake breakfast, but the money collected during a fundraiser at St. John Fisher School in Beverly could save lives by helping Chicago police officers buy new bulletproof vests.

Every five years or so, Chicago police officers are responsible for paying for their own vest replacements at a cost of about $500.

So for the third year, Ald. Matthew O'Shea (19th ward) hosted a pancake breakfast where 100 percent of the money collected will help pay for those replacements through the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation's Get Behind the Vest program.

"I don't know why it is the way that it is, I just know that it needs to be addressed," O'Shea said.

Among the pancakes and sausage, actor David Eigenberg, who plays a firefighter on Chicago Fire, said he has a deep respect for the men and women of the Chicago police department. He said the fundraiser is a way to help, "make sure the cops get to come home."

Get Behind the Vest had an initial goal of funding 8000 vests, and has funded 7000 so far. When they reach that goal, organizers say, their new goal will be funding 500 vests a year.