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Q&A: Understand the risks and benefits of arming security

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October 19, 2019

In June, a patient in a South Carolina emergency room was charged with assault after a security guard had his Taser® taken away during an altercation. The conductive-energy weapon was then used on a nurse.
The issue of arming security officers in healthcare is complicated, and we asked longtime security consultant Lisa Terry, CHPA, CPP, vice president, vertical markets – healthcare, for Allied Universal in Charlotte, North Carolina, for help in sorting out concerns.

Terry co-authored a special report, “Defensive Weapons and Equipment In Healthcare,” for ODS Security (now Allied Universal) in 2016.

The following Q&A has been lightly edited for clarity:

Q: Once a hospital has made a decision to allow weapons for security officers—whether they are private contractors, hospital employees or local police officers (on duty or off)—how do you ensure those weapons (firearms or other weapons such as Tasers, pepper spray, batons, etc.) are secure at all times?

The issue of arming security officers in healthcare is complicated, and we asked longtime security consultant Lisa Terry, CHPA, CPP, vice president, vertical markets – healthcare, for Allied Universal in Charlotte, North Carolina, for help in sorting out concerns.



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