After closing roughly two months ago due to methamphetamine contamination, the Englewood Public Library reopened March 13.
Its hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., as well as Friday and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the city said in a news release. The library will be closed Sundays through April 9.
The Englewood Civic Center and public library are part of the same building, located at 1000 Englewood Parkway.
“While monitoring illicit behavior in private spaces can be challenging, a variety of significant security upgrades are currently being implemented,” the city said in the release.
One of the security upgrades includes monitoring bathroom access and having “vape detector alarms that will alert staff to drug activity,” according to the release.
Other upgrades involve increased funding for additional library staff and expanding the city’s private security firm contract to conduct additional surveillance inside and outside the library, per the release.
The Englewood City Council also agreed to add four additional security guards at the civic center during a Feb. 27 meeting, according to the release.
At that meeting, a majority of the council agreed to increasing the number of security guards in the civic center so that there will be a guard at each of the three main entrances as well as another guard floating throughout the building to respond to any potential issues. This new plan will increase the city’s annual security cost by more than $300,000, according to the city staff’s presentation.
Although there was some discussion on whether metal detectors should be added to the civic center, the majority of the council agreed to not add any.
The city did not share many details in the March 13 news release about the vape detector alarms that aim to alert staff about drug activity.
During the Feb. 27 meeting, city staff explained Englewood was considering adding environmental sensors to the restrooms on the first and second floors.
The city had been in contact with two different manufacturers of environmental sensors, said Deputy Director of Public Works Chris Edelstein. These sensors would not be able to distinguish meth, he noted. However, these sensors are meant to detect total volatile organic compounds, smoke, vape and noise.
“They can, number one, notify our camera system. So, that way it can kind of flag the camera outside — we don’t have cameras in the restroom facilities, let me be clear on that — they’d be outside the door,” he said. “So as the individual walks out, they can kind of get … a screenshot of that individual and the technology is there to kind of follow them through the cameras … inside the civic center.”
Edelstein said the reason for the environmental sensors is to try to prevent reoccurrence of issues such as smoking substances inside the restroom. The cost of implementing the environmental monitoring equipment was unknown as of the Feb. 27 meeting.