How to Design a Police Station for Ballistic Security
If you’re working on adding a layer of ballistic protection to a police station, there’s a strong chance you aren’t starting from scratch. Many police stations are built with security in mind. Concrete blocks are an excellent bullet-resistant building material that are very common, as are entryways that regulate the flow of traffic. Small additions and substitutions can take existing features and make them even more secure and effective.
However, adding a layer of ballistic protection to these existing structures (and even new construction!) requires experience and expertise. We’ve been designing and fabricating industry-leading bulletproof barriers since 1976 and are proud to help protect municipalities around the country. In this blog, we outline five practical tips for designing a police station for ballistic security.
1. Identify and Secure Weak Points
If you haven’t done so already, conduct a security assessment. What weak points need to be secured? Side lites, half lites, and other windows in doors can be a security risk if they’re not secured with bulletproof glass. Additionally, door frames and hardware are often-overlooked weak points.
Many precincts choose to add bulletproof glass transaction windows to separate officers and other staff from the public, adding ballistic paneling to countertops and desks, and other surfaces that would stand between your team and a threat.
Finally, exterior windows are often a weak point that many stations choose to address. If there are exterior windows (or doors) that offer a clear view into the station’s interior, consider reinforcing them with bulletproof glass. A reflective coating can help deter potential threats by preventing them from shooting into the building.
2. Regulate Access
Simple additions to existing architecture can make a police station exponentially more secure. Instead of an open space for people to speak with officers or staff, consider adding a transaction window. Windows are available in several different designs, with different options for talk-through ports and package or document passing. Instead of a single set of doors, adding another layer creates a man trap that allows you to regulate who comes in and out—and trap potentially violent individuals who come into your facility with harmful intentions.
If you already have these features in place, replacing existing barriers with bulletproof glass only adds to the level of security in your facility.
3. Identify Opportunities Within the Building’s Exterior Perimeter
Once you’ve identified what you need to reinforce in the perimeter between the public and the police team it’s time to consider the interior opportunities. In addition to our bulletproof glass, Bullet Guard can also fabricate impact-rated glazing. This glass can stand up to various levels of blunt force and is ideal in any situation where you might deal with a violent or potentially unruly individual, such as an interrogation room. We can also add special coatings to ballistic and impact glass to make it tinted, a one-way mirror, and more. For more information about our capabilities, please reach out to us.
4. Your Ballistic System Should Blend In
It’s hard to protect and serve when you and your constituents feel like you’re in a bunker! Whether you’re designing a new police station or retrofitting an existing structure, your ballistic barrier should blend in seamlessly. Ideally, it should look like another architectural feature, if the public notices it at all. Transaction windows in particular risk looking bulky and cumbersome; at worst, the barriers keep your team from doing their jobs. Bullet Guard specializes in visually sleek systems that look great without sacrificing functionality. This includes backglazing projects, which adds a layer of bulletproof glass to exterior windows, rather than replacing the entire window with a ballistically-rated option.
5. Make Your Design Decisions Based on Context
No recommendation is going to be perfect for every precinct. If your area has a particular challenge, talk to your Bullet Guard representative about those issues so we can recommend the right product for your situation. You know your station’s needs better than anyone—it’s our job to make sure you have the right tools in place to keep your officers safe.
Bullet Guard Has Helped Fortify Police Stations and We’re Ready to Help You
Our team is proud to work with law enforcement agencies across the state, helping them secure their facilities from ballistic threats. This includes elegant transaction windows, guard booths, exterior windows, and more.
Need to Incorporate Ballistic Protection Into Your Police Station Design? Bullet Guard Is Your Trusted Partner
For pricing information, a quote, or to speak with one of our experts about our projects, please give us a call at 916.373.0402 or send us a message. We look forward to speaking with you!