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The Dripby Mark Reutter12:55 pmNov 26, 20140

Board approves $590K for police uniforms

Nearly $1.3 million allotted for police uniforms and accessories over two years

Above: Swearing-in ceremony for cadets graduating from the Baltimore Police Academy. (BPD)

Keeping Baltimore’s police well-clad doesn’t come cheap.

Today the Board of Estimates approved $590,000 for police uniforms next year. This comes on top of the $670,000 the panel awarded last January 8 for this year’s uniform costs.

The vote came during the board’s routine agenda where more than a dozen spending items were approved without comment or debate. City Council President Bernard C. “Jack” Young voted against the uniform expenditure, while Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Comptroller Joan Pratt voted in favor.

For a peek at the array of police attire, see the BPD’s “Happy” video released last June.

Baltimore Suppliers

Two local companies have been providing uniforms and accessories to the police for years. The lead supplier is F & F and A. Jacobs & Sons, whose custom-made uniforms for military, police, fire, sheriff and other government agencies date back to 1891.

A commanding officer's uniform on display earlier this year as part of the BPD's

A commanding officer’s uniform on display as part of the BPD’s “Happy” YouTube video.

The company was awarded a $310,000 “requirements contract” through January 7, 2016, which means that the amount can be spent by the police department without returning to the board for approval.

The Howard Uniform Co., supplier of police accessories including badges, belts, duty gear and headwear as well as uniforms, was handed a $280,000 award.

Each company is eligible to supply police clothing and gear through January 2020 at the same price level.

$650,000 for Fire Uniforms

In addition to police, the Board of Estimates has been allotting $650,000 a year for Fire Department uniforms.

Under a contract awarded by the panel, F & F and A. Jacobs has been the exclusive supplier of firefighter and fire officer uniforms since 2011.

So far, the contract has been approved for a total of $2.6 million (the original approval and three one-year renewals). It is set to remain in effect through January 2016.

T-Shirts, too

In October, the board allotted $555,580 to a Columbia-based company for the supply of T-shirts and other leisure wear. The contract covers the needs of a number of city agencies over three years.

Columbia-based Midnight Graphics will supply polo shirts to Police Department personnel in evidence control and communications and for Fire Department recruits at the training academy.

The distinctive orange shirts worn by sanitation workers are also supplied under this contract.

Another big buyer of shirts and caps is Recreation and Parks, which doles out free T-shirts for children’s sports leagues and other activities.

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