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Retrofitting a police station with bullet proof glass–or replacing the existing bullet proof glass system with something more modern–is generally more complicated than integrating a bullet resistant system into new construction. But “complicated” doesn’t have to mean “difficult.”
According to Total Security Solutions vice president Jim Richards, with careful preparation and coordination, an experienced bullet proof company can install a new police station system overnight. Installing a new system doesn’t just enhance security: It transforms the station into a more efficient workplace with a crisp look befitting the Halls of Justice.
Six Question that Guide Police Station Bullet Proof System Design
Since police stations are so variable–both in how they are laid out and how they are used on a daily basis–retrofitting their bullet resistant systems requires a degree of finesse and expertise that only comes with long experience. Among the things a good bullet proof company will need to know:
- How large is the area that needs to be secured?
- Is it open (e.g., a broad foyer with multiple access points) or enclosed (e.g., a more traditional reception area)?
- Are the walls masonry or drywall? (Masonry walls afford a great deal of ballistic protection on their own. Drywall will need to be backstopped with bullet resistant fiberglass panels.)
- Will exterior windows need to be secured? (Exterior windows require a higher level of bullet resistant glass.)
- What items will regularly need to be passed through the barrier? (A 14×14 interlocking “bulk passer” is a good all-around solution, but areas where only documents are exchanged could go with a slimline deal tray, while evidence areas might need something larger.)
- Has there been a specific threat, or is this renovation part of a regular cycle of facility improvements?
A brief consultation will help you and your bullet proof system designer zero in on the key aspects of your station’s system.
Advanced Bullet Proof Systems Ease Police Station Operations
Over the last several decades, there have been significant strides in bullet proof systems design and manufacturing. The bullet resistant barriers currently protecting many police stations are often limited to large sheets of thick tempered glass or monolithic acrylic bolted into place, with little attention to daily operational concerns, like clear communication.
Total Security Solutions vice president Jim Richards has found that experienced officers are often very enthusiastic about their new bullet proof system:
“When these things are designed correctly it’s really easy to communicate through them. They’ve been yelling through a little hole–or even a solid piece of glass–for 20 years. Beyond that, they like the new systems because of how they make the station look: Modern building methods make it possible for us to use larger pieces of glass and thinner frames, while getting better levels of bullet protection. A good system really spruces up the place, brings in more light and makes it more pleasant for everyone involved to be there.”
- Download 5 Things That Will Delay Your Bulletproof Glass Project tip sheet
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