Ensuring Public Safety in Libraries Throughout the City of Los Angeles
Posted by Councilmember Englander on February 10, 2017 at 11:59 AM
This week, the Public Safety Committee considered my motion requesting the Library Department report on serious public safety issues occurring at the City’s libraries and that LAPD report on the status of security at the City’s libraries, and on the status of contracts between LAPD and private security companies to provide security services to libraries in the City.
The City of Los Angeles maintains an incredible library system, with 72 branch libraries in addition to the Central Library in Downtown LA. The Library Department serves millions of residents each year and is an important asset for residents of all backgrounds.
While libraries remain a safe and welcoming environment for families, students, and others, there has been an increasing number of reports about serious public safety issues at various Library facilities. These acts are unacceptable and can jeopardize the safety and security of those who work at or visit City libraries, as well as discourage the use of Library facilities.
The Library Department contracts with the LAPD for security services at its facilities. LAPD utilizes a mix of sworn officers and civilian security for the Central Library and branch libraries. Though incidents of lewd conduct, threats of violence and other illegal behavior are rare, more can be done to understand and address the issue in order to ensure that our libraries remain open, safe, and welcoming places for all staff and community members.
Thank you to the LAPD and the Library Department for coming together to work out a solution to this issue. I am happy to report that the City will soon be contracting for additional security services.