Antioch Library temporarily closed due to concerns over escalating crime – NBC Bay Area


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The Antioch Library on E. 18th Street is being temporarily closed due to concerns concerning crime threatening customers and personnel, the Contra Costa County Library revealed Friday.

On Friday, the region claimed this library would certainly be closed “until further notice,” however on Saturday, the region claimed the library would certainly open up once more for normal hours of procedure on Tuesday, February 20.

In a Facebook message on Friday, the region library claimed it “has made this difficult decision after repeated dangerous incidents in the last few months that have threatened the safety and security of patrons and staff.”

The library excused the absence of notification on the closure, “but the safety of our patrons and staff is a top priority.”

A join the door at the Antioch Library notifies customers that the library is temporarily closed. NBC Bay Area Photo/ Alyssa Goard.

The library claimed it is dealing with brand-new safety actions that will certainly enable it to resume asap. In the upgrade released by Contra Costa County Library Saturday evening, the region claimed it will certainly be able to resume the library on Tuesday since it was able to discuss an emergency situation agreement to offer a personal, armed security personnel and police car to keep track of the parking area and library building.

The Antioch Library currently utilizes a gatekeeper permanent to patrol inside the library, so this brand-new agreement will certainly permit a 2nd guard to display outside the building.

“The Library will certainly additionally be collaborating with Contra Costa Public Works to fixing and strengthen the safety fencing and to update the safety cam system,” claimed County Librarian Alison McKee in a declaration released Saturday evening.

Brooke Converse, the general public details policeman for Contra Costa County Library, described that the Contra Costa County Librarian, Alison McKee, decided Friday mid-day to close the library since she, “felt like it was getting to a point where we couldn’t continue to put our patrons and our staff in danger until we addressed some additional security protocols.”

Ordinarily, when Contra Costa County shuts a library, the choice has to experience the Board of Supervisors, however in this instance, the County Librarian made the phone call as it was an “emergency safety related issue,” Converse claimed.

The library is possessed and run by Contra Costa County.

“We do not take closing libraries lightly, it’s something we try to avoid at all costs,” Converse stressed.

She claimed the Antioch Library has actually seen a rise of occurrences “both in frequency and severity” over the previous couple of months. Those occurrences consist of burglary and damages of customer and personnel building, criminal damage of library building (consisting of establishing building ablaze outside the library), dangers to personnel and safety, medication task and usage, sexual relations completely sight of customers and personnel, and bullet coverings discovered int he parking area, Converse claimed.

This previous week, a team member’s auto was ruined and completed, which Converse claimed, “was the incident that spurred the ‘last straw’ I guess you could say.”

The Antioch Library on E. 18th Street. NBC Bay Area Photo/ Alyssa Goard.

Converse additionally claimed that it is unmatched for Contra Costa County to close a library for these factors.

The region signaled the Antioch City Manager concerning the choice to close this branch on Friday mid-day, Converse claimed.

However, Antioch Mayor Lamar Hernandez-Thorpe created a letter to the County Administrator on Friday revealing his problem and shock over the choice.

“According to our city administration, no one in the City of Antioch, including the police chief were informed of any safety concerns by Contra Costa County regarding the library,” Thorpe created in the letter.

Thorpe claimed he acknowledges the region — not the city –is accountable for the safety of the library, he claimed, “We would have been more than willing to work with the county regarding any safety concerns at the library, considering it serves so many Antioch residents. “

Antioch Acting Police Chief, Joseph Vigil, informed NBC Bay Area that his division was not provided any kind of notification concerning the closing beyond a call he obtained late Friday evening. Vigil additionally kept in mind that considering that January of 2023, there have actually been 68 require solution to the library, consisting of require the fire division, cops, pet control, and clinical telephone calls.

Converse additionally claimed the occurrences the Antioch Library is experiencing belong to a more comprehensive fad.

“These kinds of incidents are not unique to Antioch, I want to make that clear that many of our libraries are dealing with an increase and an uptick of severe, dangerous incidents, and it’s happening across the country at libraries,” she claimed.

The American Library Association has actually kept in mind an “alarming increase” in aggressiveness towards library personnel and customers throughout the nation.

Saturday, Antioch citizen Laron Richardson increased to the Antioch Library anticipating to take his child to storytime. Instead, he was consulted with secured doors and indicators notifying him the library was closed.

“I was expecting even though it was raining that it was going to be happening, it’s really unfortunate what’s happening,” Richardson claimed.

“It’s really the choice of the people in the community to band together to help this place feel safe enough for the community,” he proceeded.

During the closure of the Antioch Library, individuals with publications to return are asked to take them to the Prewett Library in the Antioch Community Center, Pittsburg Library, or any kind of various other Contra Costa County Library.

“You may also hold onto your returns until after the Antioch Library reopens,” the library claimed. “The Library will automatically extend the due dates on your materials.”

Bay City News added to the record.

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