- "Phoenix Library Crime a Well-Kept Secret?," by Fox News 10 Phoenix, Fox News 10 Phoenix, 7 March 2012, reprinted under Fair Use provisions.
This is no surprise to me, especially knowing the author of the Children's Internet Protection Act revealed that the American Library Association [ALA] has effective control of one third of American libraries, and it is harming American children. Still, it is shocking how easily libraries fool local governments into not taking action to ensure libraries are not acting outside the law.
Phoenix Police, contact me as I have solutions for stopping your public library from violating the law, and it is, despite claims it is not. Do not believe a single thing the library director says without first checking into it yourselves; the ALA trains library directors how to mislead people and deflect probing questions. Notice how the ALA spin training has been put to effective use by Rita Hamilton.
Fox News 10 Phoenix, contact me.
Phoenix Library Crime a Well-Kept Secret?
Updated: Wednesday, 07 Mar 2012, 9:56 PM MST
Published : Wednesday, 07 Mar 2012, 9:56 PM MST
PHOENIX - We learned last week of a convicted sex offender roaming inside this Phoenix library, in search of his next victims.
And he found at least two.
Last week's arrest was shocking to most -- but sadly -- not to us. Our FOX investigation a few months ago uncovered hundreds of disturbing incidents at Phoenix libraries.
Reports include: a man touching a toddler in the kids section who got away before police arrive -- people looking at porn -- a man getting hostile pushing a guard – a customer threatening to cut another mans throat.
So why is this happening at a place most parents consider safe? This man says he knows why.
He doesn't want to show his face, but he wants to share his story, because he says people need to know about the dangers at the library.
He's worked security his entire adult life, and he worked at that library branch -- but resigned. He felt the library wanted a door greeter, rather than a security guard who would enforce the rules.
"Larry" told us the library should be a safe place, but it's not.
"The library has become a home to vagrants to the homeless, to the drug users…you name it I've seen it all.
"Soliciting for sex in the parking lot, I actually caught them before they… I’ve seen people from the streets, I’ve seen people who just got released from prison, drug addicts, prostitutes, alcohol users," says Larry.
Larry has worked full time security for more than two decades at businesses that are serious about safety.
He took an additional part time job at the library three days a week, but left in November.
"I resigned over frustration over not being able to enforce a lot of rules and regulations," he says.
Larry says the branch manager didn't want him to wear a security uniform, telling him to wear a blazer instead.
"[She thought that] I was being too official looking, too intimidating."
And the two way radios, so security could warn of trouble and ask for help?
"They didn't want the radio on because it was making too much noise for them, so the radios were taken away," says Larry. "She thought I was running people away from there and that there wasn't anyone left."
According to Larry, his manager scolded him for calling the police after a homeless man threatened to kill him.
"She said, I recalled this very clearly, why didn’t you just wake him up and tell him that the rules are you can't sleep here? I said I did do that and he told me to get the f*** out of his face and that point I thought we don't need to be listening to that type of language…he started threatening me."
The top manager for Phoenix libraries is Rita Hamilton.
"We're very concerned, deeply concerned, very sad. We are certainly looking into the Saguaro Library and if there are any security measures we can revise and improve," says Hamilton.
"It’s not really safe and they just don't want it to get out to the public,” counters Larry.
"There's one individual I used to watch because his actions. I used to warn him to stay out the children's area… why are we allowing adults that are not here with children in the children's section?"
Considering the fact that a pedophile on lifetime probation was able to get access to two kids in the children's section of the library -- we posed that question to Hamilton.
"Do you have any restrictions on who can get into the children's section?" we asked.
"No we don't, it's a public building, it's not something we can enforce."
This wasn't the first time that's happened. Security documents show a man tried to lure a child away from the kids section at the Yucca branch.
"They should have someone in that children's section watching that area at all times," says Larry.
And most disturbing -- the sex offenders and parolees he had to help log on to computers to conduct job searches.
"Recent prison releasees come in to use the computers, convicted felons and sex offenders use the computers on a regular basis to apply for work, computers that are feet away from the children's section. Does that concern you?" we asked Hamilton.
"I'm definitely concerned if there's an issue. But we don't have any knowledge of the percentage in those categories," she responded.
Larry says the motto seemed to be -- wait till there's trouble -- then address it.
"Basically you have to wait until something happens before you can take action."
"Well obviously you've got a huge problem with the number of customers who are homeless, mentally ill, drug/alcohol users and generally troublemakers. Why does the library continue to act like that's not an issue and not inform the public of what they're walking into?" we asked.
Hamilton said: "We have 4.3 million visitors per year. To single out that particular segment and say that's the majority is not correct."
But the former security guard says she's wrong.
"I'd say about 60 percent…who come here are bad people."
The library says they are working with Phoenix police to determine if there are ways to make the libraries safer, but unless there is a change in the laws they have to let everyone in.
Larry's suggestion for making it safer starting today -- strictly enforce every library rule so that troublemakers know there's no tolerance for bad behavior.
NOTE ADDED 19 AUGUST 2013:
Video removed and links updated to archived links.