A businessman is donating $26,000 to help the Philadelphia Police Department buy bulletproof vests.

Joseph L. Carlini, CEO of the McKean Defense Group and a Philadelphia Police Foundation board member, made the contribution to honor his father Joseph, 73, a retired, 20-year veteran of the police department.

"I can't think of a better way to honor my father's 20 years of service as a Philadelphia police officer than to provide his current brothers and sisters in blue with state-of-the-art body armor protection to keep them safe while they keep our citizens safe," Carlini said.

Because of constant use, bulletproof vests for street officers have to be replaced every five years; yet city and federal funds don't include vest replacement. The foundation's current fundraising drive aims to raise money for such nonbudgeted gear and training. It also has helped the police department buy bicycles, Segways for Center City patrols and improvements for the Police Forensic Science Bureau.

Such donations are key to police department operations during a time of escalating costs and declining budgets, police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said.

"(The foundation's) ongoing efforts to provide financial support for much needed and unbudgeted equipment, training and technology are crucial to our efforts to keep the citizens and streets of Philadelphia safe," Ramsey said.