Thursday, January 19, 2023

Ask Dr. Steve: "Body Cameras for Security Officers at the Library?"

We've just posted a new "Ask Dr. Steve" blog post by Dr. Albrecht in our "Library Service, Safety, & Security" section of Library 2.0"Body Cameras for Security Officers at the Library?" Here is the question that was submitted:
I am a security officer for a library. We are beside a large park with many homeless people that come into the Library. We do have security video cameras but they do not have audio. There are many blindspots inside and outside the building, the side of the building does not have cameras at all. We are required to patrol inside and outside the building and to patrol the park. 95% of the time I and the other security officer work alone. We overlap for a few hours one day a week. We currently do not have body cameras.

The previous two security companies I worked for each used body cameras so I am familiar with how they are used. I have requested a body camera several times. The Library Director has OK'ed the body camera but their boss has not. He says that "the cameras would hurt more than help." We have asked to sit down to discuss this with him but that has not happened yet.

As I am sure you are aware we get a lot of intoxicated, under the influence, or homeless people with mental problems. We are unarmed only carrying a radio. The police are called at least twice a week some weeks--every day if the person causing a disruption will not leave. When the police come it is sometimes a "he said she said" thing, my word against the person I called the police on (this is not always the case, it depends on the police officer that responds). The police have been called on us by patrons (homeless or not) multiple times for enforcing the rules in asking them to leave.

My questions to you, if you would be so kind as to answer. What is your opinion on body cameras? Would you please give pros and cons I can use when I speak to my supervisors?
You can read Dr. Albrecht's response here

While Dr. Albrecht's twice-monthly Library 2.0 podcast and blog posts are available for free, as are access to 48,000 other library professionals, our regular mini-conferences, and all the conference recordings. We also offer a series of Dr. Albrecht paid webinars and recordings which are available for individual or group viewing here.


    Since 2000, Dr. Steve Albrecht has trained thousands of library employees in 25+ states, live and online, in service, safety, and security. His programs are fast, entertaining, and provide tools that can be put to use immediately in the library workspace with all types of patrons. His new book, The Safe Library: Keeping Users, Staff, and Collections Secure, is being published by Rowman & Littlefield.

    In 2015, the ALA published his book, Library Security: Better Communication, Safer Facilities.

    Steve holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration (D.B.A.), an M.A. in Security Management, a B.A. in English, and a B.S. in Psychology. He is board-certified in HR, security management, employee coaching, and threat assessment.

    He has written 25 books on business, security, and leadership topics. He lives in Springfield, Missouri, with six dogs and two cats.

    His professional webite is at

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