OUR VIEW: Constructing a plan to halt library vandals

Most of what’s going on at our community’s beautiful new library is magnificent. Many more Gilroyans have a library card, there are computers being utilized, summer book readings galore and serene places where people can study and learn.
But that good is being overshadowed and stained by a few young hooligans hell bent on ruining the experience for the many.
It’s disgusting what’s been going on. The outrageous behaviors include urinating in the elevator, lipstick on restroom mirrors, graffiti, skateboarding and spitting over the railing onto patrons in the foyer.
It’s going to take a multi-pronged plan to halt the behavior. There’s no better person to take on the leadership role than Gilroy Police Chief Denise Turner. The police, we believe, should make it a point to “stop by” and walk through the library when possible, but clearly we can’t afford to have an officer devoted to babysitting the punks causing the trouble.
But Gilroy does need to develop a plan that makes it more trouble than it’s worth for those currently causing the trouble.
Chief Turner should lead the effort to develop that plan with the staff librarians, volunteers and, perhaps, a private security firm.
It’s a shame, but that’s the reality and the truth is there’s an obligation to protect not only the new $30-million-plus facility, but the patrons who are using it.
The plan will likely have to include security cameras, private security officers, new regulations, volunteer “patrols” and a library staff that, unfortunately, is going to have to get tough.
GPD can and should lend a hand with the planning and some presence, but it’s going to take more than that to get this situation squared away.
Reporter Carly Gelsinger’s story on the library vandalism really touched a nerve in the community. So many worked hard for a long time to get a new library built, and the taxpayers voted to take on another obligation. To see it being trashed by ungrateful, idotic, disrespectful young people is heartbreaking.
But there’s an opportunity in all this and that is to teach these young people what their parents have not. For that, we need a plan, a plan that might include making sure those who are caught damaging the facility have to wash windows and clean the bathroom floors, preferably with a toothbrush.

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