In an interesting move we’ll be curious to see play out and how it might influence other institutions across the country, this week the Indianapolis Museum of Art has undergone a major personnel change in their security department, firing more than thirty of its security guards and laying off 23 part-time gallery attendants in an effort, as the Indianapolis Star reports, “to save $600,000 annually.” To replace them, the museum will use reserve police officers who will be in charge not just of overseeing the museum security, but also its surrounding park and parking lots. And to replace the attendants, students from Indiana University/Purdue University-Indianapolis will be used, earning less than the previous employees and working as part of a work study program. Clearly understanding that the news would be met with some concern, the museum has posted this entry on their blog, explaining the changes and why they were forced to make them. As one of the largest museums in the country, it will be interesting to see if this move, if successful, winds up influencing other organizations to make security changes of their own.
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