26 Sep 12
In July 2011, security at Arizona State Hospital was questioned after two of its high-profile patients escaped from the facility. According to The Republic, the hospital’s CEO Cory Nelson stated that they have been since working on developing a better hospital security management initiative to ensure that incidents like last year’s do not happen again.
Nelson told the source that since the incidents, hundreds of the hospital’s employees have been retrained and he has deployed about half of the security staff, which he stated has improved the security issues by being able to have more . Nelson was asked to come to the hospital after the escapes took place because of his expertise in the field.
According to The Republic, the former CEO of South Dakota’s state hospital had some plans for the improvements as soon as he took over the position.
“I really wanted to focus on safety vs. security,” he said. “You can put up 30-foot-high fences and you can put an enclosure over the top of that place and it can be a very secure environment where nobody can get out. That doesn’t mean that what’s happening inside that environment is safe.”
In addition, Nelson said he and a team rewrote the facility’s provisions, added new surveillance methods and created an extra barrier between the exits to allow security personnel to track down individuals that attempt to escape.
Last year’s incidents were not the first time an escapee situation took place on the property. According to ABC affiliate KNXV, two sexual offenders escaped from the facility in 2010. Following the incidents, officials spent about $250,000 worth of improvements throughout the hospital, including new detection systems, improved lighting, new fencing and more security cameras.