Technology Could Help Maintaining Public Safety Easier - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/04/02

Technology Could Help Maintaining Public Safety Easier

Some public safety workers say terrorists and snipers attacks have made maintaining security more complicated. So much so that some government agencies say they're rethinking their approach to keeping themselves and you safe. At a demonstration in Harrison County on Monday local police and military looked at a product designed to do just that.

The Dixie Glass company wanted to show them how glass is not very strong and doesn't hold up very well. Company officials said there's a better alternative and then set out prove it. A thin clear film called Ace Laminate makes glass stronger than bullets. Shot after shot. Bullet after bullet. Not a Magnum or a shotgun made it though.

"Having them see it and letting them feel the back of the glass. Letting them see that it didn't penetrate. I'm running my hand all over the back of the glass and I'm not getting cut," Dixie Glass President Don Flanders said.

Dynamite shattered untreated glass while spraying fragments all over. The laminated glass was damaged but stayed in one place. Post September 11th security concerns have made everyone think about public safety at everywhere from police stations to courthouse and even malls.

"The way things are going now days you never know what kind of threat you face," said Gerald Forves of the Biloxi Police Department. "It would probably the most economical way to make it safer for the people that work there."

The technology isn't new. Believe it or not, it's 25 years old.

Dixie Glass company officials say at $8.00 a square foot, the laminate is ten times less expensive than bullet proof glass. And because the laminate goes over the glass from the inside, it allows people to escape a building in case of fire.

by Danielle Thomas

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