RNC police bike bid goes to Florida company

Posted at 9:39 PM, Apr 07, 2016

Three hundred police bicycles will be rolling into Cleveland for the Republican National Convention from Florida -- because no local companies put in a bid.

Safariland, a Jacksonville-based company that specializes in police equipment, won the contract with a bid for $386,800, beating out another bid of $565,269 offer from Volcanic, a Seattle-based company.

The contract includes 300 police bikes and 310 helmets. The funding comes from a $50 million federal grant for RNC-related security costs. 

Safariland is the same company that provided the police bicycles during the 2012 RNC in Tampa.

"We thought there was no way anybody would get it besides the Volcanic company," said Landon Tracey, manager of Eddy's Bike Shop, which has locations throughout Northeast Ohio.

Tracey said they decided not to even put in a bid because they believed the way the request for bids was written favored the Seattle company.

Tracey previously told that they had been in talks with the Cleveland Police Department to provide the bikes locally.

One other Northeast Ohio company put in a bid only for the helmets, but failed to properly sign it, so their bid did not count.

"Unfortunately, hindsight is 20/20," Tracey said. "Maybe if we went back, we would have put something in."

In a statement, city spokesman Daniel Ball said, "Safariland was chosen due to their expertise, experience, and rate submitted. We invite all interested parties to submit bids when they are solicited."

It is still not clear who will assemble the bikes once they arrive.

Safariland has not yet responded to a request for comment.