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The Kentucky PostExcerpts from article by Shelly Whitehead
A Farewell to Mayberry
Enhancing building security was top priority for new Boone facility
Kevlar walls. Blast windows. Blow rooms. In a post-9-11 world, designing secure buildings to protect and serve those sworn to protect and serve has gotten very complicated and costly. ….Security actually begins outside the building, where cameras record who enters what door and at what time, while a gated parking area ensures that only authorized employees' cars park in the walled lot adjoining the building. Such perimeter security considerations are primary in the minds of architects when designing critical infrastructure buildings like police departments.
"Every law enforcement agency is concerned about threats and being a target," said Barbara A. Nadel, a New York City-based fellow of the American Institute of Architects who this week publishes her voluminous reference book, "Building Security: Handbook for Architectural Planning and Design." "So if you go from the baseline that a police station is a target," she asked, "what do you do from there?" Ideally, she said, such buildings should have a setback from the road of 50 feet or more. "Then they have to take a look at access roads and — how traffic and circulation goes toward a building."
..predicament for many law enforcement agencies struggling to build or renovate more secure quarters: They must create a facility which balances the need for a receptive, citizen-friendly environment with the
demand for a facility that is hardened against the violent and criminal forces that might stymie their efforts to protect and serve.
In fact, the predicament is so pervasive today Nadel said it's spawned a whole new architectural subheading called "transparent security." In essence, this means building safeguards into a structure through unobtrusive and sometimes invisible features.
"Everybody is concerned about this because they don't want to build fortresses. So what a lot of us are trying to do is to encourage transparent security. It is invisible to the public eye, but it's there," Nadel said.
"It's things like setbacks, laminated glass, blast windows. — Then on the mechanical engineering side — there are subtle things like moving air supply vents several stories higher — where somebody can't throw some
substance into it and affect everybody inside."
As with Kentucky's police accreditation program, Nadel's book draws its recommendations for the future from the lessons learned through past tragedies, as interpreted by more than 50 multidisciplinary national experts. She says that, for all their collective horror, events like the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and 2001 terrorist attacks spoke volumes to law enforcement
and other emergency responders about protecting themselves so that they might protect everyone else during mass tragedies. ...