Okay, so this is could be a good thing. Under Armour wants to give Baltimore some free police uniforms. Fine. I guess they’ve got the resources. But receiving the uniforms as a gift requires an ethics waiver, which was approved by the Board of Estimates “unanimously” and “without discussion.” Was there really nothing to discuss?
Comptroller Joan Pratt voiced her concern that the Under Armour gear may become “the standard for uniforms.” “No other vendor would have the same advantage,” she told the Baltimore Sun. “It might limit others from responding to future request for bids.” But given that she is on the five-member Board of Estimates, it looks like she ended up approving the waiver without discussion.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said it was “very important for me that we followed the ethics rules.” It’s an interesting thing to say when it seems the city’s first move was to grant itself the ability to ignore the ethics rules. Rawlings-Blake praised Under Armour’s charitable work, noting that “there is nothing in their bottom line that’s measured by the amount of good they are doing in Baltimore.” But if they are looking to expand their line of tactical gear to include “the next generation of police uniforms” then working with a real police department to test out the prototypes could be a positive for the bottom line.
Under Armour has so far been mum as to what the uniforms may look like or how many they will shower on the Baltimore Police Department.
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