Chelsea IrizarryJul 10, 2018, 9:42 pmJul 10, 2018, 10:19 pm

Northwell Health arms hospital security guards in case of mass shooting

Employees have also received active shooter training through drills with local police

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MANHASSET — Armed security guards are now in place at two of Long Island's largest hospitals with plans for more to follow.

Northwell Health officials are taking new strides when it comes to keeping their patients and employees safe by placing armed security guards at two of their facilities.

“The active shooter challenge is a nationwide problem, and hospitals are not immune to it,” North Shore University Hospital Deputy Executive Director Jon Sendach said.

In the wake of gun violence across the nation, Northwell employees voiced their concern about safety in the workplace. Especially after a disgruntled doctor killed one person and wounded others at Bronx-Lebanon Hospital in the Bronx last year.

Northwell Health began a pilot program last March to highly-train and arm existing security employees. The first two facilities to receive armed security guards are at North Shore University Hospital and Long Island Jewish Medical Center. All armed security personnel are prior or current law enforcement officers.

“If god forbid something happens, at least we know we can stop it,” armed security officer Keith Boerner said.

All of Northwell Health's 23 locations throughout the state will receive armed personnel over the next few years.

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