Just thought I would like to share somewhat of a gripe I have with my current employment situation. For those that don't already know, I work as a Security officer for a local hospital in a city of about 70,000. It is not a quiet community but its not what I consider to be overly dangerous. At any rate, it is at an almost daily rate that I have to physically restrain a patient either in the defense of medical staff, a fellow officer, or myself. It hasn't gotten incredibly severe yet (knock on wood) and the worst injury I've seen was an inattentive officer getting stabbed in the neck with a pen, which missed his jugular by half an inch (reading a newspaper instead of being vigilant). Needless to say, working in a healthcare facility that has a psychiatric unit, there is always a slight risk of bodily harm. That is not so much the issue. My issue? Our company, Securitas, does not provide adequate training. True you can't possibly train someone for every issue that may arise here but at the very least every officer needs to know what the basic disaster codes mean and what to do. For instance: a code black for us is a bomb threat. We are not trained how to handle this, and the hospital (owned by CHS) only has a silly little checklist you are supposed to ask the person making the threat. I have, for lack of proper direction, had to implement a policy for security that, in the event of a bomb threat (I've had two since I have been here), security is to initiate a complete lockdown of the facility, save for one entrance, and we are to take post at that entrance and visually inspect each incoming person and their belongings for suspicious items. Anyway, back to my gripe: we don't have any equipment to do our job effectively. We have around one square mile of exterior property we are responsible for, as well as three different internal areas of the hospital, each with 7 floors. Two people are expected to be able to efficiently patrol all this regularly while still maintaining a security presence in the Emergency room. Aside from obvious manpower deficiencies, we lack training and protective equipment. We have latex gloves, flimsy plastic goggles, kenwood radios, a pager and keys. I have no way to effectively deal with an armed aggressor. We do have a large and clunky mag-light but it is against both Securitas' policy and the hospitals for us to use a weapon. That right there? Makes no sense. Most hospitals in our area have an armed presence in either armed security, a police substation, or both. We don't have either. If something goes south we just have to make a pitbull face and hope that deters enough, or call the police. Typical police response time, when I call them, is about 5 minutes. A lot can transpire in 5 minutes. CHS, or Community Health Systems, is notorious for weapons free campuses. Now sure, I can see why we don't want every Tom, Dick, or Harry coming in with a gat, but wouldn't you want some sort of armed presence to keep people safe in the event of an armed conflict? The guy with a gun doesn't care about a weapons free policy. Just my $.02. Would love to hear some comments. ____________________________ "Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens."