Back to the barricades

It’s back-to-school shopping season, and students aren’t the only ones buying new clothes and gadgets. New York City’s Finest are currently seeking suppliers for a shopping list of equipment, including shirts, body armor and scooters. The expedition comes as the NYPD embarks on its TenYearCapitalStrategy, which includes $565.6 million in funding for vehicles, communications equipment and facilities.

Photo: Pete Jelliffe/Flickr

Here are some items from the NYPD’s shopping list for August, quantities unspecified:


Steel Barricades

Bid deadline: August 27

The NYPD uses steel barricades for everything from the Thanksgiving Day Parade to cordoning a crime scene. But they gained a special status as a symbol of oppression to Occupy Wall Street protesters when the NYPD used them to corral demonstrators “like farm animals.” According to one OWS participant, the total inventory of NYPD barricades could “enclose the entire island in a formidable ring of steel.” Whether or not that’s true — at about 7 feet wide, it would take more than 24,000 barricades to encircle Manhattan — the NYPD is apparently in need of a restock and is seeking a two-year contract with a supplier. As featured at Crowd Control Warehouse, one of these instruments of tyranny could cost somewhere between $89 and $155.


Life Detectors

Bid deadline: August 24

The NYPD’s Emergency Service Unit is soliciting bids on this gadget, a Delsar Life Detector Kit, used to locate victims in earthquakes, mine disasters, landslides and explosions. According to Delsar, the seismic and acoustic sensors on the life detector convert vibrations created by a buried live victim into signals that can be heard and seen by a rescuer. It weighs just 2.2 lbs and is used by fire departments from Las Vegas to Orlando as well as the Department of Homeland Security. Estimated price: About $8,000 apiece.


Underwater Communication Systems

Bid deadline: August 21

The department’s Harbor Unit and Scuba Team is responsible for high-octane, heroic rescues like US Airways Flight 1549, and the heart-warming helicopter beach rescue of a baby seal. It’s also responsible for removing all manner of things that end up in the city’s waterways including dead bodies. TThe unit is seeking a five year contract with a supplier of underwater communication systems who can provide things like portable air intercoms (around $1,100 each), and wireless radio transceivers that allow divers to communicate within a quarter mile range (about $1,380).


Tasers (Yellow with Black Grip Plate)

Bid deadline: August 13

The producer of Taser claims its guns have saved over 93,909 lives and counting, though critics including the American Heart Association say they can cause cardiac arrest and death. Unlike other police departments in the state, however, the NYPD has received praise for a record of lawful use of Tasers. Back in 2010, the NYPD started testing a new model called the X-26 otherwise known as “The Workhorse” which Taser says has a greater incapacitating power than older models and can stun someone from 15 feet away. The results must have been pleased the force because they’re soliciting more. Estimated price: $1,000 each.


Flight Suits

Bid deadline: August 13

The NYPD’s Aviation Unit flies out of Floyd Bennet Field in Brooklyn in Agusta Koala and Bell 412 helicopters. To see what they’re looking for in candidates, check out this recruiting video from 2009. Those that make the cut could wear one of the flight suits currently being sought by the Aviation Unit. Made of Nomex, the flame-resistant fiber produced by DuPont, the flight suit is a one-piece with an Velcro adjustable-waist belt and gusseted back in NYPD blue. Estimated price: $180.


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