BRONZEVILLE — Goalie Corey Crawford is part of a new advertising campaign between the Chicago Blackhawks and the Chicago Police Memorial Fund.
The two groups are partnering to benefit the foundation's "Get Behind the Vest" campaign, which seeks to raise about $4 million to buy 8,000 new bulletproof vests from officers.
Officers are given a bulletproof vest when they enter the department, but they must replace the vests with money out of their own pocket, said Phil Cline, executive director of the police foundation and a former police superintendent in Chicago.
Bulletproof vests must be replaced every five years because the material that stops bullets deteriorates when exposed to heat, moisture and storage, Cline said. They must also be replaced after being hit by a bullet.
A replacement vest costs about $500, he said.
The memorial foundation has already helped purchase 6,100 vests, and said the partnership with the Blackhawks will hopefully help them reach their goal of 8,000 shots.
"I am confident that our new partners will help us get across the finish line," Cline said.
Appearing in the advertisement campaign alongside Crawford is Officer Alex Laguntas, who in March 2014 was fired upon by a suspect he was chasing.
The bullet hit his vest. Two other officers were struck by bullets and wounded, police said.
"My vest stopped a shot from a drug dealer's gun," Laguntas said in the ad. "My vest saved my life."
Crawford got involved in the campaign after hearing about it from friends who are officers, police said in a news release. A spokesman for the Blackhawks said the team will contribute $5,000 to the fund and will change other local professional teams to contribute as well.
"Helping ensure the safety of the officers with the proper equipment is very important to maintaining safety in our community," Crawford said in a statement.
Bulletproof vests have saved 40 Chicago Police officers since 1980, according to the department.
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