Millennium Library ‘won’t reopen the same way it closed,’ mayor vows, hinting at more security

Millennium Library ‘won’t reopen the same way it closed,’ mayor vows, hinting at more security

Winnipeg Mayor says Millennium Library will have improved security when it reopens – but hasn’t promised to bring back bag checks and airport-style metal detectors at the entrance.

The city’s flagship library has been closed since Sunday when Tyree Cayer, 28, was stabbed to death on the first floor of the downtown facility.

A youth has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with his death, while three others have been charged with manslaughter.

Mayor Scott Gillingham said Thursday the city is reviewing a number of library entrance security options, but none of them involve a return to the status quo.

“I am committed and my fellow councilors are committed to ensuring that the library does not reopen in the same way it closed,” Gillingham said during a break in the December city council meeting.

“Other measures must be taken to ensure that the public can have confidence and our employees can have confidence that it is a safe place to work and a safe place to visit.”

Gillingham said it was possible for the library to reopen with temporary security measures pending a permanent solution.

The Mayor of Winnipeg stands at a podium.
Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham says the Millennium Library will have better security when it reopens. (Bartley Kives/CBC News)

“I’m open to all options,” he said, but didn’t want to name a personal preference. “I would like to be careful at this point not to predetermine what measures can be taken.”

The mayor also said the library may not reopen by Monday as originally planned. He said it’s more important to make sure the building is secure.

The union, which represents most library workers, also suggested there needed to be more security but declined to specify what those measures would be.

“Our members have spoken to us loud and clear about their concerns,” said Gord Delbridge, president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 500.

“We want to make sure that the library is still accessible to everyone. We want to make sure everyone is safe. We want to make sure our members are safe.”

The library removed metal detectors and bag checks following accessibility complaints.

Gillingham was asked if he thought the city had been rash in responding to these complaints.

“I don’t know if removing the extra security was a mistake, but I do know we had a murder in the library,” he said. “The library must be safe.”

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