Ron Pinkston, the president of the Dallas Police Association, delivered a letter to Mayor Mike Rawlings’ office just before the first City Council meeting with newly-elected officials. The letter requested security upgrades to protect police, including bulletproof glass at police headquarters, shatterproof film on all entranceway glass, and secured parking lots with continual surveillance, according to WFAA. “The security of our headquarters and substations has long been a concern of the men and women in the Dallas Police Department,” Pinkerton said.
However, there is no money currently budgeted for these security upgrades. The three billion dollar budget does not allocate any funds towards increasing security at police stations, according to The Dallas Morning News.
The mayor had previously promised on Monday that funding would be increased for protection of Dallas officers. He said, “We’ve got the money to do what’s right. We’ve got to make it safer.”
This debate comes after an incident last Saturday, when suspect James Boulware fired over 40 bullets at the department’s South Lamar Street Station.
According to CNN, Boulware fired shots from an assault weapon and a shotgun at the police station. He also placed at least one pipe bomb outside that was later detonated by a bomb squad robot. Police Chief David Brown told reporters, “We believe this suspect meant to kill officers. We barely survived the intentions of this suspect.”
Police chased Boulware, who was upset about losing custody of his son, to a restaurant south of Dallas. Police tried to negotiate with the gunman over the phone, but when he became increasingly hostile and cut off negotiations, the SWAT team made the decision to shoot him. He had claimed there were bombs in his van, and two bombs were indeed found afterwards.
Mayor Rawlings said that bulletproof glass at police headquarters would only be the start of more protection for police headquarters. He added, “Obviously, if I was behind that glass when those bullets came through, I’d say, ‘Boy, it would be nice to have bulletproof glass,’ So that’s the first thing. But I think it needs to go beyond that.”
However, it remains unclear how the mayor plans to find the needed funding.