I received a link to a Security Magazine article from a colleague who simply said, “Interesting read” in the subject header of the email. Naturally, my curiosity caused me to click on the link. Perhaps it’s the same thing that caused you to start reading this blog post.
In my situation, I was glad that I clicked the link.
The article was well-written (I’ve come to expect this from the folks at Security Magazine). It featured the summary of a webinar about whether or not to arm security officers in hospitals. What caught my eye, however, was the disparity between the term “armed” and the alternative (nothing). Implied in the article is the idea that “armed” only means lethal force and that the alternative is to “Take a zero incidence philosophy; or consider a mix of policies such as having a licensed police officer on site, particularly within the ER; and develop strong 911 ties.”
I would add that there are other things hospitals can do to “arm” their security personnel without resorting to lethal force or relying on policies alone to help them improve their safety. I have visited a number of hospitals that employ off-duty police officers in their ER. While this is a great deterrent for that portion of the hospital, completely unarmed security officers still have to deal with issues in other parts of the hospital that the off-duty officer cannot handle. Violence in hospitals may be more likely in places like the ER and/or parking lot, but ask the nurses who work the floors and you’ll soon find out that violence can sprout up anywhere in a hospital. Security officers need a tool to help de-escalate and deter this behavior, and hospital staff need to know that someone is looking out for them. There are other options.
I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t have skin in the game, but my motivation comes not only from a desire to promote a non-lethal way for hospital security officers to defend themselves, but also from a personal drive to ensure hospital security officers and staff go home safe at the end of the shift. Me and my family have been beneficiaries of the care these folks provide, and it is necessary to appropriately protect them while they do their good work.
I doubt anyone wants to see a day where private security officers in hospitals are lethally armed, so let’s stop considering that the only “armed” response is a lethal one. If nothing else, consider how a Pro V2 might help meet some of the threats you face, how it could help protect your facility and your officers from frivolous lawsuits, and how it can bolster the confidence of officers and staff. And if a Pro V2 isn’t a fit, at least consider that the word “armed” doesn’t have to mean “lethal” and explore alternatives to meet the rising tide of violence in hospitals.
And if you’re interested, here’s a link to the article in question: