2010-09-10

skyeyedoc: (Default)
2010-09-10 04:05 pm

On security...

Recently, a man with a backpack full of weapons took some hostages at the hospital where I work, and tried to force his way into a mental health ward for "treatment". I was not at work at the time, the episode having taken place at 4am or so. Happily, the guy was persuaded to surrender with no shots fired.

My thoughts, after the fact , center on the organizational response, which seems to be that an armed guard presence may be necessary to keep the hospital safe. I ask myself, in this case, to what extent did the ABSENCE of armed support perhaps aid in a peaceful resolution of the episode?

Many years ago I was threatened by an irrational man in my private clinic. The police were called, and the guy was held briefly. The officers wanted me to press charges. I considered it, and declined. As I parsed it, his threats were more likely to remain threats unfulfilled if I gave him a hearing between the two of us, and without a trumping of him through force of law. In that case, it turned out ok, but I'm mindful that he wasn't armed.

In the episode here at the hospital, it's plain that the man had a point: he did need care, but was not seeking it appropriately. What would've been tragic would be a shootout with casualties after an armed standoff. I know it sounds lame on some level, but if only one guy is armed, it's easier in some cases to have a dialogue. IMHO.

That presumes , I suppose, that the invader has at least a shade of an agenda with a whisper of reason in it.

Anyway, I guess we'll be living with scads of new "security" measures around here in the near future, regardless of my notion. Thoughts?