MARION, Ind. - Patients at Marion General Hospital are now safer after the hospital decided to add its own police department on site.
This has been about two years in the making. Before having police officers, they had armed security guards on staff. They would have to call the police agencies in if there were any issues. Now, the officers can handle any situation, even if it ends in an arrest.
Sarah Evans is the interim risk manager for the hospital.
“We really want people to feel welcomed to come in our doors and be able to receive health care services to not feel like their threatened or in danger in any way,” Evans said.
Tragedy can strike at a moment’s notice, even at hospitals. In November, a shooting took place at Mercy Hospital in Chicago. A police officer and two employees were killed.
“The police on scene helped stop it quicker,” said Marion General Hospital Officer Michael Cruea.
“In approximately 2015 or so, the state Senate passed a bill allowing hospitals to establish their own police department,” said Chief Patrick Kolb of the Marion General Hospital.
On Nov. 19, Marion General Hospital did just that. They swore in experienced officers trained by the law enforcement academy.
“I’ve actually been here for 21 years,” said Cruea.
Officer Cruea and his team will be patrolling the hospital 24-7. In the past, as security they couldn’t fully do their job.
“We would have to take it to a certain point, then call police department to finish,” he said.
Now, that changes. There will be twelve officers who respond to all emergencies, disruptive issues and security rounds.
“With the changes of our society with the up-tick in opioid use and other drugs, an up-tick in violence within the state, outside most hospitals and communities, this is just a better transition to provide a better service,” said Chief Kolb.
They'll help patients not worry so much about safety and focus on their health.
“It’s just better to have more police, better police when it comes to securing a health care facility that has tons of people in and out all day,” said Cruea.
Marion General Hospital police officers also monitor about 20 other buildings, due to the nearest hospital being in Kokomo. If you would like to learn more about getting involved with the Marion General Hospital Police Department, click here.