People are often surprised when Total Security Solutions vice president Jim Richards mentions he’s designing a bullet proof barrier for a utilities office. But both private and municipal utilities offices are fairly regular clients for Jim, especially electric, water, and cable services.
These offices—usually located in town halls or municipal office centers—do handle a fair bit of cash, but this isn’t about the money: “Don’t ever forget: If you shut somebody’s electricity or water off, they’re pissed.” Jim assures these clients that assaults—armed or otherwise—are rare, “but when those customers and former customers come in, they’re not very nice.”
Adding a bullet resistant barrier to your payment center doesn’t just protect you and your workers from physical harm. It also creates a potent psychological barrier that reduces the strain of the job.
Physical and Psychological Security with Bullet Proof Barriers
Bullet proof glass offers two key benefits to utilities clients. First and foremost, its presence prevents violent assaults. “Everything we do is a deterrent,” Jim reminds his clients. Time and again, Total Security Solutions has found that the simple presence of a bullet proof glass system neutralizes a potential gunman. In the case of retail establishments, armed bandits avoid the hassle and choose a less-protected target. With “grudge attacks,” the ballistic barrier robs the assailant of his sense of overwhelming power. In either case, once a ballistic barrier is in place, the odds that bullets will start flying in that locale drop sharply.
The other key benefit of a bullet proof barrier is as “psychological armor.” With Jim’s custom-designed systems, you can see, hear, and be heard with perfect clarity. But if a customer becomes angry, there is no finger being waggled in your face, no spit flying as he or she gets worked up. They tend not to even raise their voices, because yelling into a hardened acrylic window is literally like shouting at a brick wall: All that racket bounces right back in the disgruntled individual’s face.
Preferred Bullet Proof Systems for Utilities Offices
Most utilities offices are high-function workplaces tucked away in existing buildings. You have a lot to get done, and have to juggle both customer service and back-office responsibilities in a small workplace. These sorts of retrofits—where security needs to be balanced against functionality—pose a special challenge, and are a specialty of Jim’s.
“At the end of the day, it’s got to be functional. You need to be able to do your work, communicate clearly with customers, and quickly close out transactions. You want to be protected, but you also want to be able to do your jobs.”
In Jim’s experience, most utilities offices are well served by a teller line crafted from countertop transaction windows. His arch and baffle transaction window designs are especially wall-suited to utilities offices, because they offer full Level 3 protection and crystal-clear natural voice transmission. No crackling intercoms here. A package passer can easily be added, for offices where packages or equipment (such as cable boxes) are regularly exchanged.
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