New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health placed armed security guards at two of its hospitals on Long Island as part of a pilot program to help staff prepare for an active shooter situation, according to Newsday.
The pilot program, which placed armed security at Manhasset, N.Y.-based North Shore University Hospital in March and at New Hyde Park-based Long Island Jewish Medical Center July 2, came to fruition after employees called for more security in the wake of an increasing number of violent incidents at hospitals across the nation, the report states.
“Hundreds of our employees have gone through active shooter training and have asked us why we don’t have armed security,” Jon Sendach, deputy executive director at North Shore University Hospital, told Newsday. “The solution here includes having guards who can respond immediately.”
He told the publication Northwell plans to have retired law enforcement officers serving as armed guards at all of its 23 hospitals within one year. He noted that not all guards at every hospital will be armed.
A second Northwell administrator told Newsday Bay Shore, N.Y.-based Southside Hospital will be the next facility to add armed security.
The goal of the program is to ensure the overall safety of patients, their families and employees, a Northwell spokesperson told Becker’s Hospital Review July 10.