CHICAGO, IL — This morning, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new safety program that will provide all Chicago Public School students with military-grade armored vests. The Mayor made the announcement at the annual CPS Back To School Fair, and assisted in passing out the first vests to students from James B. Murphy school.
“I’m very proud to announce the commencement of Operation: A Safer Chi-raq, a program that will no doubt help keep our children safer from gun violence during these troublesome times,” he stated while holding an armored vest.
Mayor Emanuel applauded the city’s use of his own national connections to secure the GH Armor-Pro Level 3 vests at a fraction of the costs, from the global defense company Lockheed Martin.
Emanuel also added that Operation: A Safer Chi-raq would first be launched as a pilot program on the northwest side of the city.
When Emanuel began taking questions from the media after his announcement, a reporter from The Reader pointed out that more shootings take place on the South and West sides. To that, the Mayor replied, “We want to start on the northwest side because we want to reward schools that have done a good job keeping their kids safe, by offering them more city resources to continue keeping them even safer.”
When asked by another reporter how the program would be funded, officials from the Mayor’s office said the funds will be taken from violence prevention initiatives that include mentoring and after school programs.
Some northwest side parents however did express some concerns about the vests. “I already bought my son’s uniform shirt, will the vest fit under it?” asked Patty Kennedy, a concerned parent from James B. Murphy school. “Students can wear the vests under their shirts or over. The vests are actually pretty cool,” a CPS spokesperson assured her. “And, depending on the school, there will also be an option to have the school’s name and logo on the vests, which will serve as a great source of school pride for the students!” he added.
To close his announcement, Mayor Emanuel stated that once this initiative is implemented in all schools across the city, he really hopes injuries and deaths due to gun shots will be significantly reduced, because he really can’t think of any other ways to support students while reducing gun deaths.
“I am out of ideas,” he said.