ETX hospitals discuss security after Longview stabbing - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

ETX hospitals discuss security after Longview stabbing

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EAST TEXAS (KYTX) -

(KYTX) - In a late afternoon press conference, leaders at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview admitted Tuesday had been a challenging and unfortunate day.

"Today's been a tough day for us. We've seen heroes just doing their jobs," Good Shepherd CEO Steve Altmiller said. "They will heal. And they will continue to care for our patients. We thank you for your prayers."

 

They were vague with future security plans but as this video shows earlier in the day we were able to go through the same buildings where the stabbings happened.
     
Confronted with that, the hospital's head of security, Kenny Jernigan, said it was consistent with policy for the time being.

 

"There's pretty much general access on those visitor areas. The general public would have access," he said. "After hours, we lock down a little tighter security. But that's strictly after hours."

Jernigan did say policy changes could be coming.

Good Shepherd's competitor, Longview Regional, issued the following statement:

"Ensuring the health and safety of our patients, employees, medical staff and visitors is our top priority. Our hospital has security systems designed to respond to a wide range of emergencies, and we regularly work with law enforcement to prepare for potential scenarios."

East Texas Medical Center issued a statement as well:

"While there's no fool-proof way for any organization to guard against emotionally distraught or unstable people intent on harming others, we do provide training to our team in how to be prepared for a variety of contingencies, including visitors who may become violent. ETMC Tyler provides 24-hour security for its patients, visitors and employees, and we also have dozens of surveillance cameras throughout the facility."

Trinity Mother Frances Health System Administrator Lee Portwood said he's confident in his facility's precautionary measures.

"We believe that we are prepared and that we have adequate personnel to control the environment here," he said.

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