LONGMONT, Colo. -- Following a rash of police shootings across the country, Longmont officers are getting a new layer of protection.
The city is outfitting all of their new patrol cars with bulletproof materials beginning with windshields.
Officers and the manufacturer gave us a graphic demonstration of what can happen to a typical windshield in a typical police car and its occupants, when someone opens fire.
They used a variety of weapons, including 9mm and 45 caliber handguns, and .223 and .308 caliber rifles firing at both normal and bulletproof windshields.
The department is spending thousands of dollars, with help from a manufacturer, to install bulletproof windows and other materials in its new vehicles.
“One life will pay for the whole thing even one injury,” said Longmont Deputy Police Chief Jeff Satur. "We're paying attention and when you pay attention you look for ways to keep your officers safe.”
Police shootings nationwide are up almost 80 percent this year.
A man using an AR15 opened fire on a bullet-riddled Longmont patrol car they had on display from a shooting in 2013.
We asked International Armoring Corporation CEO Mark Burton if the goal of design is to absorb the impact of the bullets. “Correct. So what we're trying to do, there's a science behind it, so it's a layered tempered glass that we have here and essentially what we're trying to do is catch the round.”
The glass shatters but the bullet does not penetrate fully through the layers.
"What we're offering is just peace of mind,” said Burton. “We're giving them time to ... hey, if they got shot at, their windshields are armored. They have time to stop and recalibrate.”
It's a few more seconds of protection in a life or death situation.