Medical Center Adds K-9 Security Guards

Medical Center Adds K-9 Security Guards

Chandler Regional Medical Center in Arizona has hired two furry security guards.

A medical center in Chandler, Arizona is bolstering security by adding two four-legged security guards to the force.

Dignity Health Chandler Regional Medical Center hired Chico, 2, and Scout, 1, to patrol the hospital with Mike Watkins and Robert Andazola.

“We were looking at things to add security to make it a little safer. It’s already a safe place, but utilizing the K-9s is something we thought would enhance that safety,” Christopher Bellino, director of security told the East Valley Tribune.

While the dogs are responsible for patrolling the hospital's campus, they will also be useful when situations involving emotionally distressed people need to be de-escalated, as dogs are known to relieve tension.

The K-9's will also aid in apprehension and detection. They dogs will be able to run after and bite a person who needs to be arrested. They are taught to hold on until a trainer or handler tells them to stop. They will also be helpful in sniffing out potential threats that may be at the hospital.

Both Chico and Scout have started their jobs learning the layout of the hospital and getting accustomed to the surroundings as well as bonding with their handlers.

“(The security team) is right now in the process of acclimating the dogs and the handlers to the hospital,” Bellino said. “But they are on campus now getting acclimated to the hospital, the flooring, the elevators, stairwells. That’s the part that the handlers and the dogs need to get acclimated to before we actually put them into the schedule.”

For now, Chico and Scout are the only dogs on the security team, but officials at the hospital say they wouldn't hesitate to add more.

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