San Francisco Librarians Beg For Security As Crime Takes Over

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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San Francisco public librarians protested the lack of security at their workplaces Tuesday, saying they often face “potentially dangerous situations alone.”

Protesters point to the lack of security at most of the liberal city’s 28 library locations which forces librarians and other workers to intervene in dangerous situations that, at times, turn violent, The San Francisco Standard reported.

“At a branch without a guard, I had to approach a patron who was swearing at other people. He ended up kicking in a glass door. My coworkers and I did our best to resolve it and keep people safe, but having trained security guards at every location would be a better solution than hoping librarians are able to handle potentially dangerous situations alone,” Jessica Choy, a part-time librarian, said in the press release. (RELATED: Blue City Officials Want To Let Residents Sue Grocery Stores For Closing)

Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 1021 represents over 60,000 workers in local government, non-profit agencies, schools and health care programs in Northern California, according to their website.

The public libraries have a different perspective on the matter. “Our branch libraries are much safer today than they were a decade ago. Security incidents are down 13.8% year-over-year this past February, and SFPL had 7 branches with zero (0) security incidents and 6 branches with one (1) security incident during that time. Even our patrons recognize the remarkable efforts we make,” Michelle Jeffers, San Francisco Public Library’s Chief of Community Programs and Partnerships, commented in an email to Daily Caller. “In our recent patron satisfaction survey results, library users rated the library a 9 out of 10 on safety and security in our libraries,” Jeffers added.

San Francisco has one of the highest crime rates in the U.S., beating out 98% of California in terms of its crime rate as of 2022, according to NeighborhoodScout. The city’s crime rate is high even when “compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities,” the outlet noted.

“For San Francisco, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon,” the outlet reported.

New York City, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco have responded to the crime wave that followed the soft-on-crime approach taken during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 by increasingly reversing their own soft-on-crimes reform, the Daily Caller News Foundation reported. For instance, San Francisco voters approved two city-backed measures that granted police greater powers and compelled drug-addicted welfare recipients to submit to treatment before receiving cash payments.

The city also faces a mounting feces problem after receiving 32,000 calls in 2023 about poop being on the street compared to under 26,000 complaints in 2018, the San Francisco Chronicle noted. Homelessness has only worsened in the city as well, with 7,754 being categorized as such in 2023 compared to 6,858 in 2017.