Waukesha Public Library looking to add security to counter crime bump
Cody Holyoke reports Video by tmj4.comvideo
WAUKESHA- A rise in crime has a local library looking to hire security guards for the summer.
A security team is on staff at the Waukesha Public Library a little more than nine months out of the year -- but never in the summer. With crime and drug use on the rise, sometimes inside the building, administrators are pushing for city money to pay for complete coverage.
It's a haven for people who crave information. From books to computer games, the Waukesha Public Library is available to everyone. But it's a mystery why some people choose to abuse the privilege.
Waukesha police told TODAY'S TMJ4 that drug use is on the rise in the city and the educational hot spot can sometimes be a prime location for criminals to conduct business.
"We have seen some of this bleed over into the library, where people try to deal drugs at our library; try to use drugs in the library," said Waukesha Police Captain Ron Tischer.
That's why administrators are asking for help. Library director Grant Lynch expects more than 3,000 kids to show up for summer programs this year.
With the troubling news on the table, Lynch wants to keep security on staff this time around and turn the page on any disruptions.
"We've got so much planned that safety and security of the building is a fundamental principle. We don't even want to deal with that," said Lynch.
Parents acknowledge the occasional problems. Many are hopeful the extra staffing gets approved, so their kids can stay safe.
"Honestly, we do come during the day, I'd like to be able to come here at night whenever we want and have this to be a place free of trouble completely," said mother Jodi Schroeder.
On Tuesday night, the city's finance committee approved nearly $8,000 to bankroll summer security. It's likely the library will try to budget the funds for continuous coverage next year.