| News |

Denver Library Invests More Than Half a Million Dollars on Security Camera Software

Keep Westword Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

The Denver Public Library is investing more than half a million dollars in new security-camera software that will bolster security coverage across its 25 branches.

If approved by Denver City Council — a vote is scheduled in the coming weeks — the $600,000 contract with a security systems company will allow DPL to link its camera feeds from the library's branches to the main security terminal at the Central Branch.

The software, which could be installed as early as this year, aims to fix a longstanding problem that security officers have dealt with at the library.

"It was possible to view other branches' security feeds, but it was extremely time-consuming and wasn’t user-friendly," says Bob Knowles, the library's head of security.

A live feed will be triggered when a burglar alarm goes off, a feature that Knowles says will help his team save time and resources.

As the system stands, unless someone is on site when an alarm is triggered, there's no way of seeing what's happening, he says. "Sometimes it's simply a staff member who got there early, hadn’t gotten the code right and ended up causing an unnecessary response either from a security officer from Central or a police call," says Knowles. The new system will "give us the ability to quickly determine what we have going on there and determine if we need a police response."

Knowles says the new security system won't include any facial recognition software. "In the library, we’re concerned about anonymity of using the library," he says. "We’re not looking to identify people for any reason other than issues that happen inside the library."

The new software is part of security improvements that the library has made since 2017, Knowles says. That year, the Central Branch saw at least six opioid overdoses. Increased security measures have included lowering book shelves for cleaner lines of sight and installing more lights at the Central branch.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.