UMC’s new security system started making their rounds at the hospital on January 1st. They now have their own level-four armed security guards to protect whoever is inside or around the building.
UMC’s spokesman, Eric Finley said they want to make everyone feel as safe as possible.
“They have all been trained by the state of Texas,” said Finley. “Some of them already had it and they came here. Some of our own staff, we re-trained for this position, so we have about half a dozen now who are working and over the next couple of months. We’ll keep adding more.”
In a feedback survey last year, employees said safety was their number one concern.
“They didn’t feel safe in their jobs, they didn’t feel safe at night and so they were really asking our administrative team to do something about that and so this is a result of that,” said Finley.
UMC said they are also phasing out the off-duty Lubbock Police officers they already had in place.
“We had always relied on from one to three LPD officers that we would hire on their off days, on their time off, to come up here and staff the hospital at various times,” Finley said.
Finley said the security guards are trained and ready to go. They’re marked clearly with a badge, tactical gear, and a firearm on their hip, expected to cover shifts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The next step for UMC is to get their own police department. Finley said Senator Perry filed a bill in the Senate for UMC to establish the department. They hope to move forward with that plan this year.