After not one employee felt a scratch when a suspect fired more than 100 rounds at the McKinney, Texas public safety building August 17, the building itself became a hero. Praised in public by the mayor and police chief, the bulletproof fortress represents the new breed of municipal buildings. In an era of homeland security, even the smallest towns are erecting safeguarded structures designed to keep people out rather than draw them in. And on August 17, it paid off. “We saw the design change after the Oklahoma City bombing,” said a man whose company, Pogue Construction, led the $17.6 million McKinney project four years ago. “Whereas before people thought of public buildings as open spaces to see your tax dollars at work, now they’ve started thinking about those people’s safety and closing off the building. The intent is to separate.” Secure access points and the arrangement of rooms create a buffer between McKinney law enforcement officials and the public. Windows sit just above eye level to prevent direct attack. They slope to limit ledges for explosive devices. Bulletproof glass protects the lobby, and bullet-resistant liner lies inside the masonry walls.

Security by design article are at Security Magazine Web