Dallas Police HQ upgrades safety & security

Lillington, NC and Dallas, Tx

Over the last few years, the Jack Evans Police Headquarters building (named after the 53rd mayor of Dallas) has been upgrading its physical security using a layered approach to ensure the safety of officers and visitors 24/7. The most recent addition is a brand-new fence line fortified with vehicle gates and Boon Edam Turnlock full height turnstiles to control pedestrian access into secured parking areas.

There is a saying that “Everything is Bigger in Texas,” and the Dallas police department fits the bill. The Dallas Police Department is the ninth largest municipal police force in the U.S., with 3,099 sworn officers and 598 non-sworn staff. It is led by Chief of Police Edgardo (“Eddie”) Garcia.

The Jack Evans Police Headquarters building was built in 2003. The six-floor facility has 358,000 square feet, and is spread over a three-acre site, with a separate 1,200 car parking garage and a two-acre, open parking lot for additional police and visitor parking.

The Headquarters building was under construction when 9/11 terrorists flew airplanes into the World Trade Buildings in New York. Therefore, security was a concern in its original design. Police officials worked with a Police Design Consultant – McClaren, Wilson, and Lawrie Architects of Phoenix, AZ – to help design the building to resist a terrorist attack and isolate potential hazards. The building also needed to control visitor traffic and access. In an average month, there are 5,000 public visitors to the Jack Evans building.

Active shooter incident led to an increase in security

After midnight on June 13, 2015, a 35-year-old male placed a duffle bag with a remote-controlled bomb to detonate later between cars in the parking lot of the headquarters building. The suspect then began shooting continuously at the lobby windows with a rifle. Officers responded to the scene, a vehicle chase began, and the incident ended outside the city. Fortunately, officers in the lobby took cover and were not injured.

Following that incident, the Dallas Police Department conducted a security assessment of the building, and also at seven patrol stations throughout the city. The assessment included testing various construction materials for bullet resistance to various types of weapons. Gensler Architects and Guidepost Solutions, LLC developed the solutions and plans. Paul M. Schuster, Senior Corporal/Facilities Management, was responsible for managing implementation of the security upgrades.

In 2016, funding of $1.3 million was approved to upgrade the lobbies of the seven patrol stations to withstand rifle rounds, and $1.9 million to improve headquarters lobby security, and to upgrade an aging security system.

Layer 1 involved upgrading the building’s lobby security with detection and prevention solutions. “The challenge in upgrading lobby security was the two-storey lobby entrance glass. The glass was not bullet rated, due to budget constraints..." said Paul M. Schuster, Senior Corporal/Facilities Management, at Gensler Architects and Guidepost Solutions, LLC, the company responsible for the project.

The solution was to retain the original, two-story glass exterior but add a layer of security inside once a person enters the lobby – a new separate security screening room with bullet resistant walls. A new interior wall with bullet-rated glass and solid bullet-resistant wall materials was constructed inside the lobby to channel visitors to the room. Now, all visitors must pass through a metal detector and have their belongings x-rayed prior to entering the original lobby.

Once a visitor has been cleared, they exit the screening room into the main lobby via a Boon Edam Tourlock 180 security revolving door which is set to allow only one-way traffic into the lobby. And, At the end of the visit, visitors will exit the building via the lobby through a separate Boon Edam Tourlock 180 that leads into the front vestibule where they first entered the building.

The project for Layer 2 meant upgrading the Headquarters’ perimeter security with protection and deterrence.  In 2021, the Headquarters building implemented its next, planned security layer to deter crime and violence in the outer ten acres of the property complex, which consists of the three-acre building site, a two-acre, open parking lot, a five-acre garage and an access street between those. This phase was financed by a $1.2 million bond in 2017.

At the north and south entrances, HySecurity and Lift Master motorized gates are positioned to allow only authorised police officers and staff to access the exterior secure areas by car. Adjacent to each of these vehicle gates are Boon Edam Turnlock 100 full height turnstiles to allow pedestrian police officers to enter the parking area and walk into the headquarters building. At the West side entrance to the Headquarters building there is also a third, Boon Edam Turnlock 100 turnstile, allowing officers to enter the building near to the visitor parking lot.


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