Local 1503 Members Watch Over the Museum Throughout Closure
From DC 37 Blog:
As Museums Close, Local 1503 Members Stand Guard
By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
William Vance is a Special Patrolmen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
He works the day shift, where normally the museum is bustling with thousands of visitors touring and dozens of delivery trucks are coming and going at New York’s 150-year-old, iconic institution.
“It’s strange to walk the halls of a vastly empty museum,” said the Local 1503 member. Since the mid-March state-imposed shutdown of public spaces in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vance said, “I don’t see people.”
MMA houses rare collections of artifacts from ancient empires of Africa and Europe — Ghana, Mali, Egypt, Rome and Greece, rare photographs and films of New York and more.
Vance patrols the museum and maintains crowd control. As a Peace Officer, he can arrest unruly visitors, though it is a rare occurrence, he said.
Vance guards an MMA entrance where deliveries are trucked in daily, but as the global coronavirus pandemic continues, that has stopped. These are not normal times.