In June 2015, James Boulware unleashed a barrage of gunfire at the Dallas Police Department headquarters. A little over a year later, Micah Xavier Johnson ambushed and fired upon a group of Dallas police officers trying to protect a group of protesters. He killed five police officers and injured nine others. In April 2017, a drive-by shooter narrowly missed a police officer at the South Central Patrol Division in Dallas.
What we would normally perceive as the safest place in the city, a police building full of armed officers, doesn’t seem so safe anymore. Now, many are calling for better ways to safeguard police buildings and the officers. Most municipal and other law enforcement agencies have designed lobbies to detect concealed handguns as a threat. But, now we see the threat evolving to include military rifles, threats building lobbies had not considered in the past. Rifles and shotguns were used in municipal shootings at the Austin, McKinney, and Dallas Police Department shootings in Texas. These threats can be minimized by designing secure lobbies that will assess and prevent these types of attacks.
Shortly after the June 2015 incident, Guidepost Solutions teamed with Gensler and was engaged by the City of Dallas to evaluate the security at the Dallas Police Department headquarters and seven of its patrol divisions. The team assessed the police facilities and made recommendations to enhance physical security and security technology. Our assessment included the evaluation of site protection, light levels, fencing, police parking, ballistic protections, screening processes, staffing, operations and security technology. Following the assessment, Guidepost and Gensler were engaged to design secure public lobbies of the police substations and provide a redesign of the headquarters lobby to enhance security and physical protection.