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New security guard takes over at Flower Library

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A security guard is back patrolling the Roswell P. Flower Memorial Library.

The Bronx-based firm hired to handle security at the city-owned library has hired a new security guard to replace the one who was removed March 18 after being on the job for about a month.

Denog Protective Security Services Inc. hired a local man with security guard experience, Library Director Barbara J. Wheeler said. The new guard, Luke T. Netto, started Monday.

The unidentified former security guard left after experiencing some language barriers, city officials said. City Manager Sharon A. Addison blamed the guard’s “inability to clearly communicate library policies and directives.”

The security guard, who moved here from the Bronx, stopped working at the library following an incident involving a misunderstanding with a patron who brought a working dog into the library and the guard failed to recognize that the dog should be allowed inside, she said last week.

Ms. Wheeler said Denog remains the company responsible for handling the library’s security. According to the contract, Denog provides 35 hours of security a week.

Ms. Wheeler said she does not know whether local businessman Harry J. Cleaves, who was hired as a manager of Denog’s local office, is still involved.

In recent years, library officials have talked about increasing security at the Washington Street facility after having to deal with such incidents as finding a loaded gun in a restroom, several drug deals, fights between patrons, a man selling urine from a dog for urine tests and numerous property thefts.

During this year’s budget process, the council put $43,000 in the 2013-14 budget to pay for security. Denog was the lowest bidder at $17.81 per hour.

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