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New Safety Officers to Begin Patrolling Manitoba Hospitals

April 10, 2024 4:37 PM | News

Health Sciences Centre - HSC

Health Sciences Centre (FILE)

WINNIPEG — New security officers will be in place by Monday at Manitoba’s largest hospital to keep patients and staff safe.

The province says the new institutional safety officers (ISOs) will begin patrolling Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg starting April 15.

“Institutional safety officers will bring an added layer of training and expertise to addressing and maintaining the safety of staff, patients and visitors at HSC,” said Dr. Shawn Young, chief operating officer, HSC Winnipeg.

“We continue to do our due diligence on other safety initiatives as we work to balance the security needs of the facility with the continued need for HSC to be a welcoming space for those seeking care.”

ISOs are trained in public safety and crime prevention, various de-escalation techniques, enforcement of provincial laws, arrests, searches and seizures, use of force and officer safety, note-taking, interview basics, court preparation and mental health awareness.

Officers will be trained and equipped with pepper gel but could be armed with other tools as Shared Health evaluates the suitability of other equipment within a health-care setting.

The province is looking to fill 105 ISO positions and training is ongoing over the next three months. Once complete, officers will be posted at HSC Winnipeg, St. Boniface Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Brandon Regional Health Centre and Selkirk Mental Health Centre.