CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Armed guards will soon be in every Charleston County public library.
They’re going to be called library resource officers, and they will be located in all 17 branches of the Charleston County Public Library System.
“This is just another level of protection. It’s very similar to school resource officers,” Library Director Angela Craig said. “When we did an assessment of our security guards, we were seeing we were having retention issues as well as making sure we had consistent levels of customer service.”
In response, part of the library’s strategic plan added these more experienced and highly-trained guards to the staff. The current unarmed guards at the libraries will have an opportunity to be trained, but come next year, all library guards will be armed.
In order to pay for this, the library has to spend $120,000 more a year on guard staff, even though the number of guards will be decreasing.
“I really wish we didn’t have to have resource officers, but I’d rather have them and never need them then need them and not have them," Craig said.
Adding guards is not all that’s being done to create safer buildings. Security cameras have already been installed at all the branches and staff has been trained with both active shooter and de-escalation training.