For almost two decades OSHA—the Occupational Health and Safety Administration—has recommended that late night convenience stores install bullet resistant glass barriers. As of 2004 OSHA also called for shatterproof and bullet resistant glass 24 hour hospital reception and triage areas, as well as pharmacies. But OSHA has remained silent when it comes to bullet proof glass in courthouses and police stations.
“I’m often surprised by how many police stations and courthouses in this country lack bullet resistant glass and building materials,” says Jim Richards, vice president of Total Security Solutions. “That’s unfortunate. Budgets are tight and law enforcement gets spread very thin. Bullet proof security just really isn’t a consideration for many people until there’s an incident.”
Increased Need for Ballistic Barriers in Law Enforcement Facilities
There was a renewed interest in police safety earlier this month, when anti government militia members murdered two on duty officers in a Las Vegas pizzeria. Upon searching the assailants’ apartment following the incident, law enforcement found further weapons, as well as plans to take over a courthouse and execute public officials. Just two days earlier, a similarly motivated, heavily- armed gunman attempted to storm a Georgia courthouse.
Major Craig Richards (a public information officer in Davie, Florida) noted in 2009 : ”The world is becoming more violent and police are becoming more of a target. At our front desk are volunteers, civilians, light duty officers—people who are not used to being in confrontations and are not armed. Why not take steps to protect your people?”
Unobtrusive Police Station and Courthouse Barriers
Total Security Solutions vice president Jim Richards has found that some public servants and law officers can be a little hesitant to install bullet proof barriers. There’s an outdated notion that these systems cut citizens off from public officials and services.
“Police stations want the lobby to feel inviting,” Jim explains. “And courthouses need to be accessible. But when bullet resistant systems are designed and installed correctly, they aren’t the first things you notice when you walk in. They blend in, just another component of the facility that’s functional and doesn’t draw attention to itself.”
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