County Purchases New Bulletproof Vests For Probation Officers

(October 10) The county will buy 450 bulletproof vests for the probation department at a total cost of $150,522.
In making the purchase upon the recommendation of chief probation officer Michelle Scray Brown and deputy chief probation administrator Scott Frymire, the board of supervisors agreed to go with the high bidder for the provision of the vests, based upon Brown and Frymires’ conclusion that the company’s product offered advantages other vests do not.
According to Frymire, “The department determined that due to an increase in equipment that probation officers are now carrying on their person, an additional load bearing device was needed. After extensive consultation, it was decided that a load-bearing ballistic vest cover would be the most effective and practical way of addressing this need. The vest covers being recommended for purchase will allow a probation officer to retain immediate access to his/her equipment and thereby enhance personal safety.”
In May, the department solicited bids from Lawndale-based The Vest Man, Prescott, Arizona-based ProForce Law Enforcement and BPS Tactical, Inc., which is based in Mentone, asking them to provide samples of their load bearing vests for testing and the accompanying costs for 450 of the items.
The Vest Man was the low bidder at $112,039. ProForce Law Enforcement bid $123,730. BPS Tactical, Inc.’s bid came in at $150,522
“After a department review group conducted an extensive review and field testing of the offered products, BPS Tactical, Inc. was selected as the preferred vendor due to the superiority of their product, excellent warranty, individualized fit, and the customer service offered,” Frymire told the board of supervisors. “While BPS Tactical, Inc. is the most expensive of the three vendors, its cost is a reflection of the superior quality of the product. These vest covers are expected to last for a minimum of five years.”
BPS also offers the advantage of being located within San Bernardino County.

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