Largest Hospital System in New York Arms Guards to Prevent Mass Casualty Attacks
Qualified security guars at North Shore University Hospitals will now be armed amid shooting incidents in New York.
- By Sydny Shepard
- July 16, 2018
Security guards who quality will now be carrying guns within the largest hospital system in New York. The big change in security protocol comes amid concerns over recent mass shootings.
"I felt we were at a disadvantage and that it was only a matter of time before we would be armed," said Vincent Valeni, a recently retired NYPD officer who is now one of the newly-armed guards at North Shore University Hospital.
The pilot program has already begun at two facilities: North Shore University's 57 acre campus in Manhasset and at Northwell Health's Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park.
The change stemmed from employee concerns that surfaced during mass shooter drills that have taken place wince the shooting last year at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital. Before that, there was also a parking lot incident in 2016 in which a gun was fired near Southside Hospital.
Northwell emphasizes that any guard carrying a gun must be a former law enforcement officer and properly licensed. The guard must also take an eight-hour training course on shooting protocol.
Sydny Shepard is the Executive Editor of Campus Security & Life Safety.