Published Thursday, February 07, 2013
Your recent front page news story about three unarmed security guards employed by Piedmont Newnan Hospital demanding that a Tyrone police officer, in full uniform, remove his duty weapon due to hospital policy was outrageous and another example of the product of unintended consequences without the use of common sense.
Piedmont Newnan Hospital is well within its rights to establish any policy they wish as it pertains to private property and their view of who will possess weapons. But a policy that distinguishes “on-duty” officers from “off-duty” officers would differentiate the motives of a sworn police officer based on compensation, not oath of office.
A state-certified police officer is trained, equipped, experienced and prepared to respond to any situation and is never considered “off-duty” whether wearing a uniform or in plain clothes. To believe a police officer presents a “security threat” to a hospital is asinine, illogical and would demand an immediate stringent review of Piedmont Newnan Hospital’s policy makers and their hidden agendas.
Active shooters have one common denominator -- the selection of soft targets. Schools, hospitals, churches, movie theaters, shopping malls are all considered soft targets due to the lack of security personnel ready, willing and able to immediately defend against a forcible threat.
The development of security policies that promote soft target environments arise out of a corporate mentality destined to invite the active shooter scenario.
Grady Memorial and the Atlanta Medical Center welcome police officers from multiple jurisdictions to their premises, making no regard for duty status. These are urban environments with greater security concerns than Piedmont Newnan Hospital could ever imagine.
Piedmont Newnan Hospital opened its doors to stories of customer service complaints. Now we find out they don’t like the men in blue? I am missing PAPP Clinic more each day.
W.J. Butcher, Newnan