DENVER - The city’s main library is making more immediate short-term changes in an effort to increase safety after a 9Wants to Know undercover investigation exposed open drug deals and skyrocketing crime.
In May, undercover video showed people openly injecting heroin and drug deals inside and outside the building. The investigation also revealed crimes like assaults and emergency calls for overdoses have skyrocketed.
A spokesperson for the library revealed the following:
-Police have increased patrols inside and outside the facility and dedicated about 30 hours of patrol time last week. The patrols have resulted in a noticeable decrease in loitering. City records also show five people have been arrested for crimes like drug dealing and possessing dangerous weapons since 9Wants to Know’s investigation on May 16.
-Two bathrooms have been shut down temporarily until the library hires more security officers. The 9Wants to Know report highlighted empty liquor bottles in bathrooms and security’s “ban book,” showing visitors have been caught having sex in some of the restrooms.
-Electricity to outside power outlets has been cut off to discourage gathering outside the building
-The library also replaced plastic sharps containers with prison grade metal containers to stop people from stealing and reusing needles
-The library is also seeking input from staff on ideas how to improve safety
While the library is working on the above short-term plans, a spokesperson said it’s working on long-term solutions that are expected to be announced in the near future.
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