One-way bulletproof glass???


July 9, 2003, 10:21 PM
From the Times-Picayune, New Orleans (

Police cruisers may go high-tech

Windows stop bullets but let officers shoot

Tuesday July 08, 2003
By Frank Donze
Staff writer

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie: a material that can stop a bullet fired at a police car dead in its tracks while allowing officers inside the vehicle to shoot back.

After months of research, New Orleans City Council staffers have located a company that manufactures such a product. And if the costs aren't prohibitive, City Hall hopes to begin armoring police cruisers with it soon.

"The bottom line is the technology is available," said Councilman Eddie Sapir, who has spearheaded an effort to protect officers from criminals who have gained easy access to high-powered weaponry.

Sapir launched the discussion in August after the killing of officer Christopher Russell, who was gunned down seconds after he and his partner drove up to a St. Roch neighborhood bar that had just been robbed.

One of four fugitives leaving the bar fired several shots through the cruiser's passenger-side window. Russell, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot in the head as he sat behind the wheel. Four people were arrested, but have not been tried in the case.

After Russell's funeral, Sapir said, he and his colleagues made a commitment to prevent similar tragedies.

"When we lost Officer Russell, we all thought that the least we should do is explore the opportunity . . . to see if that could never, ever happen again," Sapir said.

In the past year, a task force of council staffers and New Orleans Police Department personnel contacted more than 100 companies before they found one equipped to deliver a bullet-resistant substance that was distortion-free, durable, reusable and reasonably priced.

Making the grade was Labock Technologies Inc. of Weston, Fla., which recently dispatched company representatives to New Orleans to demonstrate its invention for local officials.

In addition to the "one-way glass" that blocks bullets from entering a vehicle from the outside, task force members were wowed by "an unexpected phenomenal feature" that allows officers "to return fire from the inside," according to a report submitted to the council last week.

"The return fire can move through the glass from the officer, and the glass will reseal itself," said Wilson Howard, the council's assistant research director who headed up the task force study.

Howard said Laboc's package offers the additional benefit of a bulletproof door panel that can be detached and used by police officers as a shield in the event of an ambush.

An NOPD study of the issue of bulletproofing done about 10 years ago found that the ability to easily install and remove the protective materials is a critical issue. Among the reasons cited were:

-- The relatively short life of the average police car, estimated at about 18 months. If the equipment was not transferable to new vehicles, the earlier study found that replacement costs could become a serious problem.

-- The expense of removing the glass before out-of-service cruisers are resold on the open market. Police officials have said they do not want drug dealers or other criminals to gain the advantage of the added protection.

Based on preliminary estimates, council staffers said it would cost about $13,000 per vehicle to equip the front windshield, the two front doors and the inside glass partition.

The task force has recommended that the city initially equip at least 125 police cruisers, a step that would carry a $1.62 million price tag.

This past Thursday, Sapir asked Police Department officials to return with proposals on how to pay for the project, including the availability of federal or state grants.

While no commitment has been made to purchase Labock Technologies' product, the task force report said that NOPD officials have strongly recommended it.

The lightweight, reusable one-way protection system is "the feature that sets Labock apart from the rest and it is that feature that offers the highest level of safety to our officers," the report said. "Thus far, no other company has been identified."

Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis told task force members that she and her colleagues are prepared to make the high-tech protection a top priority this fall as they consider the city's 2004 operating budget.

"You have a committed council that wants to have our police department fully empowered with all that it needs" Willard-Lewis said, "so that we can win this war."

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July 9, 2003, 10:25 PM
"The return fire can move through the glass from the officer, and the glass will reseal itself,"

Interesting. Is it actually glass?

July 9, 2003, 11:39 PM
Sounds like some type of carbon based life form Scottie......

That kinda material would have alot of neat applications :)

July 10, 2003, 12:12 AM
Check out for info on how it works!

July 10, 2003, 12:30 AM
I used to manage the gun shop for a major poice supply distributor. There is a company called Ballistishield that has been making some raid shields of this "one way" glass for a few years now. It is a glass/polycarbonate laminate. Thick, heavy stuff, but I got to see it tested first hand and it works. I'm not sure how it works though, it was a patented, closely guarded secret. The heaviest shield would stop rifle rounds (223 & 308, but not armor piercing), but could be shot through if necessary by the user with a 9mm handgun.

July 10, 2003, 12:33 AM
I can sure see other uses besides cruisers.
I've shot windshields, other vehicle glass, one way windows, etc. Bullets do weird things, that is one constant I found.

July 10, 2003, 01:38 AM
Sounds like some type of carbon based life form Scottie......

??? Really??

A popo I knew told me something about his dept fitting armored doors on the Crown Vics but they were too heavy and the doors fell off...or something like that. Maybe he was yanking my tail.

July 10, 2003, 09:31 AM
Anyone want to shoot a gun from inside of a car?


July 10, 2003, 10:21 AM
Only if there's somebody outside the car shooting at me...

July 10, 2003, 10:50 AM
I'm not sure how it works though, it was a patented, closely guarded secret

If it is patented, then it cannot be a or the other, not both.

Assuming this stuff works, then it would be great for a lot of security situations.

I'm sure only the Governemt and other VIPs will be allowed to posses it though, none for us proles.:mad:

AJ Dual
July 10, 2003, 11:51 AM
It's laminated glass like most other "bulletproof" glass.

Except the one-way feature is made by where the put the lamination, in this case, on the inside only, instead of multiple layers.

An inward shot from the outside will hit the hard glass first, creating a shower of shards and a deformed bullet, that is then caught by the soft inner plastic layer.

An outward shot from the inside will hit the soft laminate first, pierce it, squeezing it around and away from the bullet, then shattering the glass, but since there is no layer after the glass, the shards and the bullet continue on to the target. Not very well probably, but most likely still lethal at the short range last-ditch scenario an officer would have to fire through his window at a perp.

How it works isn't the big trade secret. What kind of plastic has those properties, and what adhesive they use, and that will not only resist bullet impact and glass shards, but will resist cleaning, sun exposure, and the hot interior of a parked car without fogging, yellowing, or peeling, is the big secret...

July 10, 2003, 03:41 PM
$13,000 tax payer dollars per vehicle, but saves the officers the embarrassment of making them wear helmets while inside vehicles.


July 10, 2003, 04:00 PM
I dunno, E357, for $13,000 per unit, you could get some pretty spiffy climate-controlled, CommNet enabled, armored helmets.
The downside, of course, is that they'd have to endure the "stormtrooper" or "Space Balls" comments.

July 10, 2003, 04:42 PM
Looks to me as though the New Orleans PD has some formidable problems to contend with. That they're even considering the $13000 per vehicle cost for this is food for thought.

July 10, 2003, 10:11 PM
Every time someone invents a better mouse trap the mouse gets smarter.

July 10, 2003, 10:28 PM
tiberius, the company held patents for the composition of some of the material used...the technology of how it was all put together to work with other materials is/was the company secret. It is possible to have both...ITT holds many patents for the latest night vision technology, however due to national security, export laws, exactly the patented components are used is a secret. Maybe I should have worded it differently. :D

July 11, 2003, 03:17 AM
<Arnold> It's liquid metal poly alloy. </Arnold>

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