The Philadelphia Police Department has received a $10,000 Safety Equipment Grant from the Spirit of Blue Foundation. The grant, which will be used to purchase new ballistic vests, was awarded to the department in honor of officer Charles "Chuck" Cassidy, who was shot and killed in 2007 while responding to a robbery.
Spirit of Blue Foundation Executive Director Ryan Smith presented the check to Commissioner Charles Ramsey during a press conference on Friday afternoon.
Ramsey said the grant will be vital to officers' safety, as the department is constantly seeking funding for new safety vests. According to Ramsey, the vests need to be replaced every five to eight years; an expensive requirement.
"This is something that a lot of people don't realize that is so essential to the safety of police officers on the street," Ramsey said.
In 2007, on the morning of Halloween, Cassidy was checking in on a Dunkin Donuts shop at 66th and Broad street in West Oak Lane, when he walked in on a robbery in progress. Cassidy was shot in the head and died one day later.
Ramsey said it was especially good to have the grant given in Cassidy's name.
"To have this donated on his behalf, I think it means an awful lot to the family and it certainly means an awful lot to all of us in the police department," he said.
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Cassidy's daughter, Katie Cassidy, thanked the Foundation and the police department for honoring her father's memory.
"My family thanks you guys from the bottom of our hearts," she said. "It's nice to know that people don't forget."
The new vests will be distributed to officers in the 35th District.