Hospital police

Hospital police

Hospital police are specialized police agencies in the United States that provide law enforcement services and security to hospitals.

As a result of the increase violence in the healthcare field, mental health patients, and a wide range of civil disturbances found across the nation, hospital security often proved insufficient. This occasionally resulted in injury to both the hospital staff and the security officers. These hospital security officers were often poorly trained, ineffectively led, and unprepared to respond to these turbulent and unanticipated events. Trauma centers treat patients of assaults, stabbings, and shootings which brings upset family and friends. Hospitals have the potential for violence on a daily basis.

Creation of hospital police departments began in the 1970s across the United States. Statutory laws were passed and necessary regulations were enacted to provide these security officers with the necessary statutory authority to perform their expanded roles as police officers. Hospital police officers were required to meet higher training and educational standards by attending the police academy. Further training was given to these police officers to deal with hospital-specific issues, including non-violent crisis management.

The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, along with many state and municipal owned hospitals, have full service law enforcement agencies, while private non-profit hospitals usually have special police or constables. Today's hospital police officers are better equipped to deal with hospital specific issues, and have detailed understanding of law enforcement within a healthcare environment.