Planning for Protection

Planning for Protection

Design and Planning of Protective Services Facilities
International Association of Chiefs of Police
Salt Lake City, UT
September 30th – October 2nd 2013

From September 30th to October 2nd 2013, principals of Stephens Kozak ACI attended a three-day training session on the design of police and protective services facilities in Salt Lake City, UT. The annual seminar was organized by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) ; the venue was the new $125million net-zero Salt Lake City Public Safety Building, occupied in mid-2013, shared between police and fire services.

While we were credentialed upon arrival and granted full access to most areas of the facility over the intensive three-day period, the first afternoon was dedicated to a four-hour guided tour of this state-of-the-art facility in downtown Salt Lake City. Notable features include a multi-storey entrance atrium set back several hundred feet from the roadway across a public plaza under a sweeping canopy of photo-voltaic-covered glass panels, a two-level underground parking garage and an emergency command centre anchored by a 20 sq.m. partition-able video screen that can be viewed from one floor above through the side-by-side police and fire department command centres.

As a reflection of evidence-based design conclusions, traditional conference rooms normally furnished with tables and chairs were equipped with soft seating surfaces in conversational-style groupings, deemed more conducive to information-sharing and conciliatory negotiations. Such configurations were chosen by the SLCPD following extensive research into workplace environmental behaviour.

While several office areas above the main floor present floor-to-ceiling windows in order to fully take-in the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains, value-engineering steps included strategic positioning of bullet-proof glazing to a height of 1100mm, where a mullion then allows a transition in the upper sections of glazing to standard tempered glass. The entire facility is wired to operate on emergency generator power for as long as fuel is supplied to the emergency generators. If supply becomes a concern, strategic load-shedding is automatically engaged.

Principals of Stephens Kozak ACI were granted unfettered access to photograph all areas of the facility including emergency call and dispatch centre, fully computerized evidence/exhibit drying/deposit and storage systems, extensively monitored interview rooms including sound deadening from within and white-noise generation in adjacent corridors, a SWAT briefing room, information systems (IT) server room, emergency media/communications room equipped with green screen and made available by the Chiefs of Police and Fire to the mayor of Salt Lake City as required.

The 2.5 day balance of the program’s duration included photographic and quantified examples of other recent state-of-the-art protective services facilities across the U.S., as well as an illustration of the driving principles behind these solutions. Please contact us at for further information on this event or for assessments and constructive dialogue around your existing facilities or projects in the early stages of planning.

See Salt Lake City Public Safety Building for further details and virtual tours.