Over the past few years, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library system has undergone severe budget cuts resulting in widespread changes which led to employee layoffs, closed branches, reduced hours and services, and even the outsourcing of security to Mecklenburg County.
For many, the issue of safety became a real concern.
“With significant changes in library management including a transitional security team, there was a real apprehension in how branches would be monitored,” said Dwayne Eury, a security coordinator with Mecklenburg County.
However, newly released data collected by the library’s security incident report system shows a 26 percent decline in security incidents reported over the past two years.
According to Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
CEO Vick Phillips the credit may lie with budget cuts.
“By outsourcing security to the County, training has become more uniform and more professional, says Phillips. "Our security experience has actually been better at the end of the recession than it was prior to the recession," he says.
As a result of the County’s training program, officers have essentially become more proactive.
“Officers are now making frequent patrols of the library floors to ensure the patrons are following the library’s rules and regulations and immediately engage those who are not properly the rules and regulations,” said Eury. “This proactive approach has led to a safer environment for patrons and library staff."