LOS ANGELES-In mid-July as the date of the Democratic convention approached, the managers of the Wells Fargo Center here decided that the heavily glassed facility needed increased protection against glass breakage. "We didn't want to see a repeat of the World Trade Organization conference in Seattle here in L.A.," said Richard Ward, director of security for the Wells Fargo Center. Earlier this year, political activists destroyed numerous Seattle properties during demonstrations against the WTO. With that in mind, Ward contacted Jordan Frankel, vice president of "Shattergard window protection films", on July 19, 2000. Ward placed an installation order to coat approximately 10,000 square feet of first floor window glass with the film. He stipulated that the project be completed by Aug. 4, a week before the convention began on Aug. 14. "We're working 24 hours a day," Frankel said. The ShatterGard film strengthens glass up to 400 percent, according to Frankel, who said it can withstand a baseball going 70 mph, a shot from a small caliber gun, or an explosion. The film was developed by DuPont 20 years ago to protect temporary military installations in foreign countries. Frankel and partners started the company nearly six years ago and went after residential and commercial contracts as well as government accounts. Current clients include the FBI, several U. S. Navy warfare centers, Zales Jewelers and Bell South. The company has dealers in 48 states and 10 countries. The Wells Fargo job cost somewhere between $100,000 and $125,000, Frankel said. The same job using ballistic glass would cost around $550,000, he noted. Originally, Wells Fargo contracted with Shattergard to "protect our glass" in the facility's public areas such as the atrium. "The atrium has a huge amount of glass, so it's pretty inviting for people who want to get the word out for their cause," Ward said. As the installation got underway, the center's retail tenants also wanted protection and joined the project, according to Ward. "The installation has really low impact, even if you're open for business," he commented. "They (Shattergard's installers) are real quick. They're real clean. They leave the area just the way they found it."