Northwell Health has bolstered security at both North Shore University Hospital (NSUH) in Manhasset and Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Medical Center in New Hyde Park by arming some security officers as part of a pilot program to protect staff, patients, their families and other visitors.
Only current and former law enforcement officers who work for Northwell and are licensed to carry a firearms in New York have been issued 9mm handgun with tamper-proof holsters – and only after undergoing a rigorous internal review.
The program, which rolled out at NSUH in March and was expanded to LIJ on July 2, will soon be extended to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore and eventually throughout the entire health system.
“We have highly trained law enforcement veterans already working at Northwell facilities, so arming them is a logical and prudent action given the current climate,” said Scott Strauss, assistant vice president of corporate security at Northwell. “This additional layer of security serves as a deterrent against workplace violence and helps ensure a safe experience for our patients, staff and others in our hospitals.”
Additional security measures include bullet-resistant vests issued to all security officers system-wide along with turnstile barriers – which have been installed at NSUH and Huntington Hospital – and visitor check-in stations, which are already in place at several facilities.
The added security measures come in response to growing, nationwide incidents of mass shootings, as well as input from employees calling for greater protection against workforce violence. The health system has conducted active shooter drills at all of its hospitals and numerous outpatient facilities.
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About Northwell Health
Northwell Health is New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer, with 23 hospitals, 665 outpatient facilities and more than 18,500 affiliated physicians. We care for over two million people annually in the New York metro area and beyond, thanks to philanthropic support from our communities. Our 66,000 employees – 16,000-plus nurses and 4,000 employed doctors, including members of Northwell Health Physician Partners – are working to change health care for the better. We’re making breakthroughs in medicine at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. We're training the next generation of medical professionals at the visionary Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell and the Hofstra Northwell School of Graduate Nursing and Physician Assistant Studies. For information on our more than 100 medical specialties, visit Northwell.edu.