Bollards and barriers, pioneered at American diplomatic facilities overseas, are being installed at U.S. high rise office buildings and local government facilities. The aim: to diminish the chance of and damage from homegrown threats. For example, the Thousand Oaks City Council just has authorized the city to solicit bids to upgrade security at the Civic Arts Plaza by installing vertical steel posts in the ground at strategic points outside the complex. “We’re definitely not on Al-Qaeda’s top-10 list,” the Thousand Oaks facilities manager said in a presentation to the council at its meeting January 26 at the complex. But, she noted, in 2008 a man threatened to drive his tractor-trailer into the structure, which houses both Thousand Oaks City Hall and the Bank of America Performing Arts Center. Security experts, she said, consider the complex to be a "soft target” because it has none of the posts, known as bollards, to defend it against vehicle attacks. “There is an inherent possibility for potential domestic and random threats” at the Civic Arts Plaza due to the nature of its use as a center of government and a large regional theater, according to a written report she prepared for the council. Following her presentation, the council voted 4-0 to green-light the solicitation of bids for the bollards and accompanying security lighting. The project is estimated to cost between $150,000 and $300,000, part of which will be offset by a $50,000 Homeland Security grant. The security upgrade calls for retractable hydraulic bollards to be installed at the lowest entry point to the vehicle turn-around area in front of the complex’s parking structure. Fixed bollards will be installed at the circular top of the turn-around area near the entrance to the Fred Kavli Theater and in front of the second floor entrance to City Hall, which is wide enough for a car to drive onto.
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