The threat of violence is constant each time a police officer dons their uniform and steps out on patrol. That’s why safety is of utmost importance for officers, who are required to wear bullet-resistant vests and carry weapons for protection.
For several agencies throughout the U.S., the next safety step involves installing bullet-resistant glass in patrol vehicles. The Bruceville-Eddy Police Department in Texas has taken that step, partnering with Dana Safety Supply to install bullet-resistant glass in its patrol vehicles’ windshields and front side windows.
Bruceville-Eddy police chief Michael Dorsey told KWTX 10 that five of its seven patrol vehicles have installed bullet-resistant glass, costing $7,500 each. The need for the protective glass, says Dorsey, is because “officers are targets, and there are people that want to hurt law enforcement and have bad intentions.” He adds that this type of protection is needed in every law enforcement agency’s vehicle due to the increased threat toward officers.
In fact, more than 100 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in 2022, according to a report by the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Sixty officers were killed as a result of criminal acts. Firearms killed 49 of the 60 officers.
San Antonio has also taken steps to armor patrol vehicles. The city’s new budget goes into effect in early October 2023, which includes hundreds of thousands of dollars to upgrade windshields and side windows on police vehicles with bullet-resistant glass applications.
“It’s effective, obviously, but also very expensive,” Michael Wanke, president of A1 Glass Coating, told KSAT.
San Antonio’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget specifically allocates $210,000 to replace the windshields and side glass on 30 specialty vehicles, such as the SWAT and the Street Crimes unit. Lawmakers are also asking for $1,540,000 for the Fiscal Year 2025 budget to up-armor police vehicles.
Joshua Huff is assistant editor to AGRR magazine’s sister publication, USGlass magazine.