CHICAGO -- The Chicago Police Department honored an officer Tuesday who put his life on the line and nearly lost it.
Officer Fernando Soto was shot in the line of duty last month, but a bulletproof vest saved his life
“I’m lucky and grateful,” Officer Soto said during a Chicago Police Memorial Foundation press conference.
The 6th District Tactical Officer was saved from a potentially lethal bullet November 20th by his bulletproof vest.
At the press conference, former police superintendent Phil Cline said the effort to properly equip police must continue.
“We spent $8 million so far to buy 8000 vests,” Cline said. “And now we’re buying 500 a year because they’re expiring.”
Cline asked for donations this holiday season. Hi-tech body armor with a five-year shelf-life must be replaced periodically. All too often, Cline said, hard-working and courageous officers have to dig into their own pockets to get a new vest.
Back in November, investigators said Soto’s vest stopped a potentially lethal bullet that hit his back. A gunman opened fire on Soto and his Gresham district partner, police said. Soto managed to wound the suspect, who remains in custody. The November 20th incident happened less than 24 hours after the killing of CPD officer Samuel Jimenez at Mercy Hospital.
Those who want to make a donation to help pay for a patrolman‘s vest, can log on to www.cpdmemorial.org