CHICAGO (CBS) — A southwest side alderman and the head of the Illinois State police pumped gas Thursday for dozens of customers at a gas station in the heart of Morgan Park.
You probably won’t find “gas station attendant” on the résumés of Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) or Illinois State Police Director Leo Schmitz, but both said they held down such jobs as teenagers.
They were back at it for three hours on Thursday, pumping gas and cleaning windows until steady rain began to fall outside of the Kean Bros. station at 2632 W. 111th St. to raise money to buy protective vests for police officers whose old vests have worn out.
O’Shea said he spoke earlier in the day with an officer who is still wearing the vest the department issued him when he left the Police Academy in 1997.
“He’s putting himself last,” O’Shea said of the 20-year veteran officer.
The alderman and Schmitz said the useful life of the vests is roughly five years. Any vest that is struck by a bullet is retired immediately.
New vests run between $400 and $600 apiece, and O’Shea said the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation — which is spearheading the effort to get new vests for officers — estimated about 1,000 officers wear vests overdue for replacement.
Although the alderman’s return to the service station island is over, O’Shea said the commitment by Kean Bros. will continue. Owner Raleigh Kean said 15 cents a gallon for every gallon pumped at the station through Saturday night is going toward new vests.