Massachusetts Library Hires Retired Police to Patrol

Massachusetts Library Hires Retired Police to Patrol

Trustees’ spokesperson Tracy Davis said that at least one officer will be on duty during all times the library is open to the public. Davis said that the security schedules are coordinated to provide officer coverage for all 59 ½ hours of the library’s weekly schedule.

Sawyer Free Library’s Board of Trustees is hiring six former police officers—most of whom retired from the Gloucester Police Department—to patrol for safety, security and peacekeeping, according to the Gloucester Times.

Library Board of Trustees President John T. Brennan told the Gloucester Times that the addition of the safety officers is set to begin on Feb. 5 as part of the library’s safety and security expansion project.

"We're taking library safety very, very seriously," Brennan said, "and this is part of our expression of that.”

Other safety and security upgrades for the library include staff training with city police, property checks by the Gloucester Police Department and an updated surveillance camera system. Among the new security measures is a requirement that anyone seeking to use the restroom must show a library card.

"We continue to strive to strike a balance between offering a broad open door policy for all community members and ensuring a safe, secure environment," Brennan added in a statement.

Ensuring safety and security at the library has become a priority in the last few years, especially as drug-related activity has increased. Reports of police action in the area of the library often involve the recovery of discarded hypodermic needles inside and outside of the facility and the use of the building as somewhat of a shelter when other public buildings are closed.

The issue of drug-related activity came to a head on Oct. 15, when police summoned by library staff arrested two men accused of making a heroin deal in the men’s room adjacent to the children’s room at the library. One of the men is also accused of using the drug in the restroom. This incident led to the facility requiring a library card to gain access to the restroom.

Brennan said that the security officers will not be armed or have police authority to make arrests. He added that the security officers being locally based will help them in their work. The security team is being led by city Traffic Commissioner Larry Ingersoll, himself a retired Gloucester police officer, through a new provider formed by Ingersoll and fellow retired police officer Ernest Curtis.

"These are area guys who know what it takes to meet the library's needs," Brennan said. "One of the things that's good about it is they have a basis of understanding of the patrons, and they have an understanding of the pattern of activity."

Trustees’ spokesperson Tracy Davis said that at least one officer will be on duty during all times the library is open to the public. Davis said that the security schedules are coordinated to provide officer coverage for all 59 ½ hours of the library’s weekly schedule.

“We hope that the security officers and the other recent upgrades will be a welcome addition to (the library)," Brennan said. "The fact is, people can and should feel safe at their local library, and it is an important message we need to send out to the community."

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.


  • 12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    12 Commercial Crime Sites to Do Your Research

    Understanding crime statistics in your industry and area is crucial for making important decisions about your security budget. With so much information out there, how can you know which statistics to trust? Read Now

  • Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    Boosting Safety and Efficiency

    In alignment with the state of Mississippi’s mission of “Empowering Mississippi citizens to stay connected and engaged with their government,” Salient's CompleteView VMS is being installed throughout more than 150 state boards, commissions and agencies in order to ensure safety for thousands of constituents who access state services daily. Read Now

  • Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    Live From GSX: Post-Show Review

    This year’s Live From GSX program was a rousing success! Again, we’d like to thank our partners, and IPVideo, for working with us and letting us broadcast their solutions to the industry. You can follow our Live From GSX 2023 page to keep up with post-show developments and announcements. And if you’re interested in working with us in 2024, please don’t hesitate to ask about our Live From programs for ISC West in March or next year’s GSX. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX
  • People Say the Funniest Things

    People Say the Funniest Things

    By all accounts, GSX version 2023 was completely successful. Apparently, there were plenty of mix-ups with the airlines and getting aircraft from the East Coast into Big D. I am all ears when I am in a gathering of people. You never know when a nugget of information might flip out. Read Now

    • Industry Events
    • GSX

Featured Cybersecurity


New Products

  • PE80 Series

    PE80 Series by SARGENT / ED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin

    ASSA ABLOY, a global leader in access solutions, has announced the launch of two next generation exit devices from long-standing leaders in the premium exit device market: the PE80 Series by SARGENT and the PED4000/PED5000 Series by Corbin Russwin. These new exit devices boast industry-first features that are specifically designed to provide enhanced safety, security and convenience, setting new standards for exit solutions. The SARGENT PE80 and Corbin Russwin PED4000/PED5000 Series exit devices are engineered to meet the ever-evolving needs of modern buildings. Featuring the high strength, security and durability that ASSA ABLOY is known for, the new exit devices deliver several innovative, industry-first features in addition to elegant design finishes for every opening. 3

  • ResponderLink


    Shooter Detection Systems (SDS), an company and a global leader in gunshot detection solutions, has introduced ResponderLink, a groundbreaking new 911 notification service for gunshot events. ResponderLink completes the circle from detection to 911 notification to first responder awareness, giving law enforcement enhanced situational intelligence they urgently need to save lives. Integrating SDS’s proven gunshot detection system with Noonlight’s SendPolice platform, ResponderLink is the first solution to automatically deliver real-time gunshot detection data to 911 call centers and first responders. When shots are detected, the 911 dispatching center, also known as the Public Safety Answering Point or PSAP, is contacted based on the gunfire location, enabling faster initiation of life-saving emergency protocols. 3

  • QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC)

    The latest Qualcomm® Vision Intelligence Platform offers next-generation smart camera IoT solutions to improve safety and security across enterprises, cities and spaces. The Vision Intelligence Platform was expanded in March 2022 with the introduction of the QCS7230 System-on-Chip (SoC), which delivers superior artificial intelligence (AI) inferencing at the edge. 3