Washington Co. library seeks funding for panic buttons, security cameras


JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Washington County budget committee has approved a request by county library officials for money to improve security.

The library’s director, Richard Griffin, said they asked for more than $7,000 to add panic buttons and security cameras.

“Panic buttons will allow my library staff to activate an alarm to contact the police station in the event that there is potential trouble at the library, it’s a way to do it quietly…this is used in a number of different locations in the county, this is something we’ve wanted for some time, I really hate the thought that a library needs such a thing,” Griffin said.

Back in December, the Jonesborough and Gray branches were vandalized.

Gray Public Library vandalized; Second library to report case in Washington County, TN

People who work at the library’s Gray branch came in to find several bullet holes in the windows.

Both Johnson City Police and Jonesborough Police were investigating the incident.

Griffin said now that the budget committee has approved the funding for additional security, they will go before the full commission at the end of the month. 

“Unfortunately there are people who will do things like vandalize the library and we’re spending money on stuff like that rather than spending money on books and activities for kids, and things that we really love to do,” Griffin said. 

If the full commission approves the funding Griffin said he hopes to have the cameras and panic buttons installed in the coming months.

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