Security Committee at Work
A couple weeks ago we had a gunman enter our healthcare facility and demand drugs. As it turned out, the gun he had was plastic and no one was hurt. The man was arrested, but it shook a lot of people up.
I have since been recruited to be on the Safety and Security committee to critique the event, our policies, and come up with recommendations for actions, systems, processes, equipment, etc. I'm more than glad to be on this committee, because it becomes clear that most people don't have a clue.
The first item of discussion was "Call a Code Strong". Then I pointed out this code is for combative patient and lots of people will show up. We need a separate code for an armed person and the last thing you want is a ton of targets showing up and freaking the person out. Great way to escalate a situation. We need a unique code for armed response in which limited and specially trained people show up and everyone else secures patients and stays out of the halls. After a long discussion, they seemed to understand the rationale behind this strategy.
Another item was, "We've got 30 security cameras and we need 30 more costing X dollars." Then I asked, "Who is monitoring these cameras and who will monitor 30 more?" Answer: They're not monitored. So I point out that in essence if something goes down, this won't prevent anything but we'll have really good pictures and video. That's good evidence, but not really preventing anything or making anyone safer. Just helping the investigation after it's over. Still a good idea, but I'm pushing for some type of monitoring.
We talked about our security company and the fact that our guards are unarmed. After the meeting I had a sidebar with the boss and said, "We need to push our security company to have at least one trained armed guard on the premises. The only thing that can stop an armed attack is an equal and opposing force. We can either have that here or wait for it to show up after 911 is called." It seemed to resonate.
I also suggested locking down all of the non public entrances with employee badge reading locks and controlling public access points with metal detectors and having the equipment for visitors to check-in (copy of DL and a temporary badge that prints a decal on a laser printer with the visitors name and picture and where they are going).
In the end, I think we will have a lot of feel-good measures that says "we did something" and hopefully a couple of actual measures that could reduce the liklihood or minimize the impact. This is one time I'm actually glad to be on a committee.