The city of Chicago is spending about $193,000 on face shields for police officers ahead of the May G8 and NATO summits.
The city secured about 3,000 of the new shields from Colorado-based Super Seer Corp. as part of an emergency contract awarded by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration. It signals the first purchase made under an agreement allowing the mayor quick turnaround contracts to bid-companies.
Other cities that have hosted similar meetings have encountered thousands of protests, and Chicago is preparing for the same. A national activist group already has called on 50,000 demonstrators to descend on Chicago in May.
The Fraternal Order of Police applauded the purchase, but President Mike Shields told the Chicago Sun-Times the 3,000 shields might not be enough if more officers need to respond to protests. It is unclear how many officers will be assigned to the summits.
The new shields fit over motorcycle helmets and are large enough to fit over a gas mask. They're twice as thick as the old shields and are sealed to keep liquid out of officers' eyes.
The double-header summits begin in Chicago on May 19.