CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) — The day after Cmdr. Paul Bauer was laid to rest, hundreds of people turned out Sunday for the fourth annual pancake breakfast benefiting the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation’s “Get Behind the Vest” initiative.
19th Ward Ald. Matthew O’Shea organizes the yearly event, and says the response is unbelievable.
“It tells me that our community supports the Chicago Police Department, and now more than ever our city needs to stand with our officers and show them support,” O’Shea said.
Many who attended told WBBM Newsradio’s Nancy Harty they were concerned over Bauer’s death, who was fatally shot last week, and therefore wanted to make an appearance.
The money from the event will be donated to the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation for bulletproof vests. The foundation has replaced the vests of about 8,000 officers and hopes to do 500 more every year.
Last year’s pancake breakfast attracted over 2,000 attendees.
Over the last three years, over $80,000 has been donated to Get Behind the Vest as a result of the event, according to O’Shea.
Ald. O’Shea said that, in the past three-and-a-half years, the Chicago Police Memorial Foundation has “replaced 8,000 vests for officers and, moving forward, we probably need to replace about 500 per year to maintain.”
The Chicago Police Memorial Foundation says a bulletproof vest needs to be replaced every 5 years; officers are responsible for replacing their own vests.