We are thrilled to announce a major step towards enhancing visitor safety on Library property. Thanks to a successful funding request, the Library has received the necessary funds in the FY23 budget to add an additional security officer to patrol the area outside and around the library. This significant development is a testament to our commitment to providing a secure and welcoming environment for the more than 26,000 visitors we welcome each month.
Addressing Safety Concerns:
As the single most visited public facility in our community, the Natrona County Library takes the responsibility of ensuring visitor safety very seriously. The presence of the City Transit Authority’s bus transfer station adjacent to the library has presented unique challenges. This transfer station often attracts groups of 5-10 individuals, leading to occasional incidents of verbal and physical altercations, drug, and alcohol use that can spill over into the library parking lot, creating an unwelcoming atmosphere for patrons and staff.
Responding to Community Needs:
To address these legitimate security concerns and ensure a safe environment, the Library first included an additional security officer in their request for one cent funding to the City of Casper. That portion of their request was denied. The Library then submitted a request for funding to the County as part of their annual budget request. The security portion of the request was $76,944 and was based on 2,748 hours annually at a quoted rate of $28/hour. The request represented an additional security officer whose hours would overlap with the first officer, allowing for two officers on duty during peak operating hours.
Investing in Safety:
The County Commissioners’ approval of the Library’s request signals their commitment to public safety. With their support the Library doubled its security officers in early July. By establishing a safe zone in and around the facility, the Library is helping ensure a secure space where visitors, staff, and the entire community can enjoy our valuable resources and services.
Creating a Welcoming Space:
The Library remains dedicated to providing a safe and inviting environment for all community members. Having a highly visible and proactive security presence can act as a deterrent to potential wrongdoers, and the additional officer means we can more quickly respond to emergencies and address situations before they escalate.
The Library’s commitment to visitor safety is unwavering, and we remain committed to exploring ways to improve safety and create positive patron experiences.
Look for our new mobile security stand outside the Library, as well as the new faces of our expanded security team.