Santa Monica City Council passed two consent calendar items during its Tuesday night meeting enabling the purchase of new bullet-proof vests and vehicle improvements for the Santa Monica Police Department.
As per City policy, vehicles that have reached the end of their useful life are replaced through the Equipment Replacement Program. Under this program, potentially 176 Santa Monica Police Department (SMPD) vehicles are due to be replaced during the next three years at approximately $13,500 per vehicle in up-fitting costs based on the bids received, according to City staff.
Each vehicle will be equipped with various standardized and specialized equipment. In June this year, the City solicited bids to provide labor and equipment associated with the up-fitting.
After reviewing the two bids received, staff recommended Airwave Communications Enterprises as the best bidder to provide labor and equipment for a total amount not to exceed $792,000 for the financial year 2014-2015.
Council passed the City staff recommendation to award the bid to Airwave Communications and to authorize the City Manager to negotiate and execute a contractual services agreement with the company in an amount not to exceed $792,000 for one year, with two additional one-year renewal options in the amount of $792,000, on the same terms and conditions for a total amount not to exceed $2,376,000 over a three-year period, with future year funding contingent upon council budget approval.
Each of the 176 vehicles will be equipped with emergency lighting and warning equipment and a police radio. Some vehicles will be equipped with prisoner transport systems and additional equipment such as a mobile computer and camera system. The equipment installed in each vehicle varies depending on the purpose of the vehicle. Equipment from existing vehicles will be transferred to new vehicles when possible.
During the council meeting, Councilman Kevin McKeown questioned the possibility of breaking the outsourcing contract in the future to enable vehicle up-fitting to be carried out in-house by City employees. It was confirmed that any such outsourcing contract could in fact be broken with 10 days written notice.
Council also accepted grants for bulletproof vests from the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ), Bureau of Justice Administration (BJA), on Tuesday.
For the years 2013 and 2014, SMPD has been awarded two, two-year grants of $23,372 and $30,152 respectively. The DOJ, BJA will reimburse SMPD 50 percent of the cost of each vest purchased.
The grant funds will allow SMPD to purchase National Institute for Justice compliant armored vests for police officers.
The Bulletproof Vest Partnership (BVP), created by the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Grant Act of 1998, is a unique US DOJ initiative designed to provide a critical resource to state and local law enforcement, according to the City.
Since 1999, more than 13,000 jurisdictions have participated in the BVP Program, with over $375 million in federal funds committed to support the purchase of an estimated 1.1 million bulletproof vests. The Office of Justice Programs BJA administers the BVP Program.
The City has been a recipient of grant funding previously in 2006 and 2010 with total previous grant funding awarded in the amount of $103,333.
The 2013 and 2014 grant program funding will provide funding for approximately 140 replacement vests. Bulletproof vests are on a three-year replacement cycle because the degradation of the Kevlar from repetitive use and body moisture reduces the vest’s ability to maintain the threat level guaranteed which voids the warranty.
The current grant awards of $23,372 and $30,152 will support the purchase of vests until August 2016. 2013 BVP funds must be spent by August 31, 2015 and 2014 BVP funds must be spent by August 31, 2016.
The City agreed on the total expenditure of $53,524 to meet the US DOJ partnership grants.