QUESTION OF THE DAY REGARDING THE UNIFORM CONTRACT:
"How much longer do we have to deal with this vendor? I can't take it anymore."
This is a question we hear every day and one we just heard from an officer who waited weeks for uniforms, only to have them ruined by the staff attempting to make alterations.
The short answer is, "Who knows?" The contract is a one year contract, but with the option to renew every year for five years.
If the officers and police organizations are vocal, able to convince City Hall and the NOPD that the vendor is not performing its duties, the contract can be cancelled after one year. However, you may know that the NOPD Superintendent did a site visit at the contract holder's location and observed that (paraphrase) orders were ready and officers just need to pick them up. As of a few weeks ago, one police union official told A.P.E. he had received only ONE complaint about the uniform contact holder. So for starters, if you want the contract to stop, you have to log complaints. Not with A.P.E., because everyone thinks we are just "poor losers"; instead make official complaints with the police union you belong to, or even respond to this anonymous survey created by a third party: http://cklawgroup.net/nopd-survey/
If A.P.E. is successful in its lawsuit, the contract may be terminated. At this point, A.P.E. has been denied its preliminary injunction and has appealed; we have not even had our actualday in court yet, and we are approaching one year of litigation. So, even if A.P.E. is successful in stopping the contract, it could take years!
One big thing that everyone needs to understand is that "spending the voucher because I do not want the city to get it" will only reinforce the idea that the vendor is performing the contract acceptably and only embolden the contract holder to continue its current level of service. Buy what you need, of course, but buying $500 worth of handcuffs out of spite only serves the parties you are angry with, not you.
More to come.
Be careful out there...