WALLINGFORD — The Town Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a nearly $25,000 bid waiver allowing the police department to purchase six ballistic vests.
Bid waivers allow department heads to purchase equipment from specific vendors instead of going out to bid for the lowest price.
The ballistic vests, manufactured by Point Blank Body Armor and valued at $4,159 each, are to be purchased from Lawman Supply Co.
The $24,954 was transferred from the police department’s Regular Salaries and Wages account to a Ballistic Vests account.
Police Chief William Wright said that three other ballistic vests are coming to the department through the Region 2 Emergency Planning Team for the Wallingford-Cheshire Tactical Team.
The regional team is purchasing six vests through its own funding initiative to replace the current ones that are more than eight years old, according to a memo from Wright to Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. dated Dec. 23, 2019. Three vests will go to Cheshire and three will go to Wallingford.
The bid waiver approved by the Wallingford Town Council is to purchase six vests for Wallingford along with the six vests funded by the regional team in one purchasing order from Lawman, Wright said.
Town Council Chairman Vincent Cervoni asked about uniformity in ballistic vests throughout the region.
Deputy Police Chief John Ventura said that the vest style is being used by South Central Region SWAT Team.
“We interact with that team often enough that certainly uniformity is important to us,” Ventura said.
He added that the vests have speed plates designed to stop bullets from an AK-47 assault rifle or an AM-15 rifle.
“Industry standards today go for a more streamline vest that’s not as heavy,” Ventura said, “which gives the operator the opportunity to move around and function a little easier than they would in a vest that weighs upwards of 60-plus pounds when it’s all equipped.”