Home » Emergency Safety Contract to Allow Antioch Library to Reopen

Emergency Safety Contract to Allow Antioch Library to Reopen

by CC News

Late Saturday, the Contra Costa County Library announced its Antioch Library location will reopen after an emergency contract was granted to provide armed security guards.

The Antioch Library will reopen for regular hours of operation on Tuesday, February 20, 2024. The Contra Costa County Library announced the temporary closure of the Antioch Library on February 16, citing repeated dangerous incidents over the last few months that have threatened the safety and security of patrons and staff.

After consultation with the County Administrator’s Office and County Counsel, the Library was able to negotiate an emergency contract to provide a private armed security guard and patrol car to monitor the parking lot and library property. The Library already has a private security officer inside the branch during all library open hours.

“The Library will also be working with Contra Costa Public Works to repair and reinforce the security fence and to upgrade the security camera system,” said County Librarian Alison McKee. “The Library will be in close contact with the City of Antioch about how they can best support the safety of library patrons, staff and the surrounding neighborhood.”

Library services at the Antioch Library, including holds and the book drop, will be available beginning at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, February 20.

The safety of patrons and staff will continue to be a top priority for the Library.

Editors Note: Background

According to Brooke Converse, Contra Costa County Library Public Information Officer, she said they did not reach out to the City of Antioch over safety concerns, but due to another serious incident earlier this week the County Librarian made the unilateral decision to close the library immediately so increased security services can be implemented.

On Friday, here is what was released by the County Library:

“Beginning Saturday, February 17, 2024, the Antioch Library will be closed until further notice. The Contra Costa County Library 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. During the closure, the Library will be working to implement further security measures so we can reopen as soon as possible. These will take some time to complete, and we do not have an estimated date for reopening. We will continue to keep you updated on our progress.”

Converse said Saturday she could not provide the number of incidents or responses to the library, but did provide the types of incidents that had been occurring. Some of the types of incidents that led up to this decision include:

  • Theft and damage to patron and staff property
  • Repeated vandalism of library property including multiple incidents involving things being set on fire
  • Threats to staff and security
  • Drug activity and drug use in the library and on library property
  • Sexual intercourse inside and outside the library in full view of patrons and staff
  • Bullet casings on library property

According to sources, Antioch Police have been called more than a dozen times in the past two months–sometimes with the Antioch Police Department not even responding. (UPDATE – 15 calls confirmed from library staff to Antioch PD)

Converse also said the Antioch Library is county-owned and operated and that the County Board of Supervisors was consulted before the closure.

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Enough is enough February 18, 2024 - 6:29 am

Had the County Librarian not decided to make the drastic decision to close the library, nothing would have changed. Improvements aren’t possible when elected officials continue to insist there are no problems.

D Street Bombers February 18, 2024 - 6:41 am

Sad that it took drastic action by the county librarian to close the library for people to wake up to the issues going on in not only the Library area, but all of Antioch. Glad they got a contract for armed security for safety reasons but is sad this is needed at a place where people should feel safe to learn. For the mayor to play stupid, its par for the course unfortunately. Anyone with a brain knows what goes down in the D St & E 18th area. Its not safe once school is out.

BOOKWORM February 18, 2024 - 7:53 am

“According to sources, Antioch Police have been called more than a dozen times in the past two months–sometimes with the Antioch Police Department not even responding”. (UPDATE – 15 calls confirmed from library staff to Antioch PD) sideshows ,shootings, murder, armed guards at your library, notice what the first 3 letters of library spell, you get what you deserve Antioch.

Irrational February 18, 2024 - 9:41 am

Not everyone in Antioch voted for these people and they most certainly don’t deserve living in this danger zone. Children, among others, don’t deserve to live in a city so dangerous, lawless and out of control that the public library needs to close. Come on.

More Mess February 18, 2024 - 8:19 am

Imagine that! What a sad commentary on Antioch. Surrounding cities and County Supervisors have to be as weary of Antioch’s administration as the citizens have become. There was no need to notify Thorpe because he’s too busy working on the superficial in order to maintain appearances. Unfocused, tone deaf, self serving, out of touch and committed to his mess. Elections can’t happen soon enough.

Big Picture February 18, 2024 - 8:32 am

This was all political to tank elections of Antioch City Councilmembers Mike Barbanica and Monica Wilson in their two elections in a few weeks. Federal Glover and the other Board of Supervisors could have stopped this fiasco but instead Federal wants Shanelle Scales-Preston and Karen Mitchoff both elected. Totally dirty politics.

TwoCents February 18, 2024 - 9:19 am

It’s my belief that Thorpe does some things on purpose to “tank” Monica like her running for the Assembly. He wants to bring people down with him. Why would you select a bigot and anti-police person to be on the police oversight committee. It’s all video for people to hear.

MODERATE February 18, 2024 - 10:36 am

This is good, I’m sure, for those who wish to utilize the library but as a solution it is analogous to treating a severed arm with a band-aid.

FOOS February 18, 2024 - 8:12 pm

Antioch is in deep trouble. As long as we have a feckless mayor and council members who care nothing about Antioch, it’s doubtful our community has any hope of regaining its standing as a place to live, work and raise a family. Crime, homelessness, businesses leaving. These are all signs of a dying city. All brought to us by self serving leadership, at all levels of our city’s administration. Well, a majority of them anyway.

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