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UNION SEEKS REMEDY FOR HENRY FORD HOSPITAL'S 'UNDERMANNED' SECURITY

 UNION SEEKS REMEDY FOR HENRY FORD HOSPITAL'S 'UNDERMANNED' SECURITY
 SOUTHFIELD, Mich., May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The following was released by the Michigan Association of Police:
 Henry Ford Hospital's security staffing is no longer adequate to assure an appropriate capacity to protect persons who seek treatment, visit patients or work at the Detroit medical facility.
 That warning, issued by the Southfield-based Michigan Association of Police (MAP), is both the motivation and the fundamental message behind the union's call for restoration of the hospital's security force to the numbers that served in past years, according to MAP Director Fred Timpner.
 "We are urging those who work at the hospital or who might visit patients to proceed with extreme caution under the current circumstances," he declared. We believe that, "budget cutting through attrition in the security ranks has made the hospital a more dangerous place." These professional officers, who take pride in their work, are faced with severely diminished ability to do their jobs.
 "As a result, MAP and its affiliated Henry Ford Hospital Security Police Officers Association have launched a campaign to convince the hospital administration that it must re-establish the previous levels of staffing that provided the public and staff alike with a sense of security."
 Timpner emphasized that safety "of all concerned" at the hospital, which is on Grand River at the Lodge Expressway, is the primary objective.
 "At one time, there were as many as 11 officers on the midnight shift," he said. "Now there is an average of just four people on that shift." Seven used to be the minimum number of officers on the day shift and there was actually an average of eight or nine on the job during those hours. Now, the maximum on the day shift is six.
 "For instance, the hospital is experiencing at least as many security-related incidents as ever; more, probably, over the past two years. As a result, we firmly believe that people are far less safe than in prior years from vehicle break-ins, purse snatchings, thefts in areas such as emergency and losses suffered by visitors. Auto theft is way up, as well."
 Timpner said that 90 officers were on the security force at one time during past years, but that only around 50 officers are doing actual crime prevention and "high risk" security duty today.
 "The security contingent is busy and stretched very thin," he declared. "Officers deal with many violent and potentially dangerous situations while patrolling to prevent crime."
 Also, they have to spend time away from the hospital area for court appearances and other duties. It simply is impossible to do all of this with the proper degree of effectiveness when they are so short-staffed.
 We believe that the situation is unsafe for the officers, for the public and for everyone who works at the hospital.
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 /CONTACT: Fred Timpner of Michigan Association of Police, 313-559-0033/ CO: Michigan Association of Police; Henry Ford Hospital ST: Michigan IN: HEA SU:


ML -- DE033 -- 6719 05/05/92 16:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
Words:501
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