Building Security – Site Issues
Picture from Project – Police – Troy MI Exterior 2
Each jurisdiction will determine its own level of security requirements, which in turn will influence building security decisions. When looking at a prospective site for a law enforcement or public safety building, there are a number of security related issues that must be addressed. Here are a few of them.
Can the building be set back from the street sufficiently to minimize an impact from bomb blast? Current DOJ standards call for a minimum of a 50’ setback from the street to sensitive public buildings. In a dense, urban area this may not be possible due to the limited availability of property, or if your project is a to renovate a building that has an existing, limited setback.
Buildings can be protected from being run into by explosive carrying vehicles with the proper placement of bollards, and by including in the site design swales that will stop a vehicle. Swales can be a part of the building’s sustainable design features. Utility lines and air intakes should be protected from accidents or deliberate attacks that would endanger the building’s occupants.
Day-lighting is important to the interior environment, but it may also expose officers to risk from the outside. Where daylight is desired, consider placing windows high enough so that there are no direct site lines into the building from street level. This will minimize the chance of injury if shots are fired into the building from the street.
Two means of ingress and egress to the site are critical to the ongoing operations of the department. With only one drive in and out for staff, all it takes Is one disabled vehicle to block a department’s entire operations.
Official vehicles and public parking should not be mixed. Official vehicles, and often officers’ civilian cars, need to be securely separated from access by the public. The Sally Port needs to be in a secure area, away from street visibility if possible.