More than six years after Police Officer Charles “Chuck” Cassidy was slain in the line of duty during a robbery inside a West Oak Lane Dunkin Donuts, his presence is still being felt in the 35th District.
On Friday, the Spirit of Blue Foundation presented Commissioner Charles Ramsey with a $10,000 “Safety Equipment Grant” which will be used to purchase ballistics vests for 35th District officers.
The grant — which will be used in conjunction with matching funds from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Ballistic Vest Program — was given in memory of Cassidy, whose relatives were on hand for the Friday afternoon presentation.
A ‘responsibility’ to help protect
Ryan Smith presented the ceremonial check on behalf of the Spirit of Blue Foundation. He said he was proud to do so as “it is the responsibility of all citizens, including public and private industries” to help ensure police-officer safety.
Ramsey said these sorts of grants are essential to protect those sworn to protect and serve, considering that ballistic (or bulletproof) vests cost nearly $900 each and have a lifespan of between five and eight years.
“This goes a long way to keep our officers safe out there on the street,” he said.
Among the Cassidy family members on hand for the presentation was the late officer’s oldest daughter Katie, who said “we really appreciate it” on behalf of her father and the officers working in a 35th District where he once served.
On Oct. 31, 2007, Cassidy was shot in the head when he interrupted robber John Lewis inside the Dunkin Donuts located on North Broad Street near 66th Ave. Cassidy died the next day. After a search that stretched to Miami, Fla. Lewis was sentenced to death two years later.
The grant was made possible through a gift from the Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation.