Charleston County Public Libraries to add armed guards

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston County Public Libraries plan to add armed security guards to their libraries.

This is a part of their escalation plan to help provide better safety to their patrons.

Their escalation plan has led to the addition of security cameras as well as having non-security library staff approach a disgruntled patron before having to call a security guard.

This part of the escalation plan has worked well so far according to Angela Craig, Executive Director of Charleston County Public Library.

“The library staff will always be approaching our patrons first, so if there is a patron that is having a tough day then the library staff will have to actually talk to them first. Usually, the library staff is wonderful at de-escalating any kind of incident and managing it internally.”

Angela Craig, Executive Director, Charleston County Public Library

The armed guards will be referred to as library resource officers and their addition will be the final part to the escalation plan.

Charleston County Library did receive a shooting threat via email in October 2018 that led to the temporary closure of several branches.

The library resource officers could help ease the nerves of many people who work and go to library.

This would be no different for Samone Coakley, a security guard who has been with Charleston County Library for six months.

“I’ve dealt with crazy patrons and I just, at times, don’t feel protected at all… so this will probably work out for us.”

Samone Coakley, Security Guard, Charleston County Public Library

The budget will see an increase from $250,000 last year to $551,000 next year, and the library is hoping this will be able to keep people safe in the long run.

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