As part of an ongoing effort to create a safer environment for patients, staff, and visitors, Lawrence General’s security supervisors are now being encouraged to complete reserve/intermittent police academy training through the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Training Alliance. To date, five officers have graduated from the program and six more will attend in the months ahead.
Initiated by security director Mark Avery, who graduated from the training himself last year, this initiative is intended to deepen the knowledge and expertise of the security team, and enhance the overall safety of the hospital. To graduate from the program, participants must complete a minimum of 372.5 hours of advanced training in a range of legal, emergency response, and self-defense courses of study.
According to Mark, the program improves communication between Lawrence General’s security staff and members of any visiting law enforcement agencies. Graduates of the program are also better equipped to approach potentially dangerous situations such as patients suffering from emotional distress, mental illness, or substance abuse.
“Before we started offering this training, we already had four staff members who had gone through program,” says Mark. “I could always recognize a difference in their report writing, how they carried themselves, how they handled emergencies, and how they deescalated situations when necessary. I knew the training would benefit our security program if we had academy trained staff on every shift.”
In addition to Mark, the other graduates of the training program are Mike Fornesi, Greg Levesque, Nate Hunter, and Jim Murphy. Set to graduate in February are Will Corrigan and Matt Wright. Security officer Ray Hernandez is expected to graduate in June, and Gremarfi Villa, Greg Henderson, and Patrick Broderick will start the program in March.