MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department has been in its new building on Jefferson Avenue for just a few months. The bigger space has more floors and plenty of glass.

But after a recent shooting, some who work there say that glass is the problem.

Shortly after the building opened in July, WREG began getting complaints from those on the inside. We agreed not to identify any workers, but got an earful about the dangers they feel.

Bullet holes are still visible where someone shot into the building at least two times. Workers say one bullet even lodged near someone’s desk.

“To this day, the bullet hole is still there on the second floor,” one worker said.

Fortunately, it happened after hours, but it’s still not something workers expected to see when they came to work the next morning.

“It made me feel like if they came and shot the building up while we were gone, when do you plan to come and do something when all of us are there on the clock?” asked the worker.

Shelby County Health Director Dr. Michelle Taylor said police and sheriff’s deputies were at the health department after the bullet holes were discovered.

“There was an incident where some of the glass in the large glass windows was broken from gunfire. Unfortunately, we don’t know whether it was intentional or whether it was just stray gun fire,” she said.

The police report says a guard found what appeared to be bullet holes in two of the building’s glass window panes on the second and third floor when arriving to work the morning of July 22.

There was also an additional bullet hole on a third floor window pane near the patio, making it a total of three bullet holes.

“We understand and appreciate that was very scary for our staff,” said Dr. Taylor.

We asked Dr. Taylor about the safety concerns of her workers. A lot of it came at the height of the mask debate, when many citizens were upset with the Health Department requiring masks in public places and schools.

Protestors showed up outside the building.

“Unfortunately they don’t always agree with what we’re charged to do,” Taylor said. “It’s all in the name of protecting the public’s health. And so you’re not always going to please everyone, but as long as you keep that mission ahead which is protecting the public’s health, then we respect everybody’s right to disagree with us, and demonstrate according to their First Amendment rights.”

But Taylor said the threats got so serious, she even had to have security with her to and from work and all day at the office.

“Even for me individually. I had to have a security detail within my first couple of weeks. And that just goes with the job, sometimes of protecting health,” said Taylor. “Threats were made, saying that people were not happy with the mask requirements.”

Workers say they were told to be out of the building when their work day ended, for their own safety.

“They told us to be out the building by 4:30. l try not to linger around. Try to be off the property at 4:30 on the dot,” one worker told us.

Taylor says that is true, but it was more a work-life balance issue.

“We felt like we want to make sure that employees are leaving on time, so that they can spend time with family, take care of what’s going on at home and do all the things that they can’t do during work hours,” she said.

WREG obtained an in-house email that apparently went out to workers in August. It alerted them that protestors were outside the building and that private security and law enforcement had been informed and were monitoring the situation inside and out.

It went on to say security had increased in and around the Health Department for the safety of staff, customers and the general public.

“We put plenty of things in place to keep employees safe, and we continue to look at other items that could keep employees even more safe going forward,” said Taylor.

Taylor said they are continuing to tweak improvements at the Health Department and she believes they are past the point of danger.

But for employees trying to do their job in a pandemic and now worrying about where they work, answers can’t come soon enough.

“I feel like they just pacify us and say yeah we are gonna do this, but we are still waiting,” one worker said.

Taylor says she no longer has a security detail with her, but there is still no word on whether police ever determined who fired those shots into the building.