LifeBridge Health’s Million Dollar Parking Makeover

Roger Sheets was able to turn his hospital’s $250,000 per year loss in parking revenue into a $700,000 annual profit. This turnaround, along with the right mix of officer training, personnel retention practices and technology are why he has been named this year’s Healthcare Campus Safety Director of the Year.

In many ways, hospital security is a balancing act. If a campus has the
latest and greatest technology but has no one qualified to operate it, a hospital has wasted its equipment investment. Likewise, a healthcare facility could spend countless dollars on officer training but waste its outlay of resources if access control, video, infant abduction prevention and other systems don’t complement its patrols. Add to all of this the responsibility of running parking operations profitably, and the challenges of managing a healthcare public safety department can be overwhelming indeed.

Roger Sheets Sr., director of security for Baltimore-based LifeBridge Health Systems, however, has found the right mix for his institution. Under his supervision, a very unprofitable parking operation has made nearly a million dollar turn around. Additionally, Sheets’ wise officer retention policies and incorporation of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) concepts keep LifeBridge’s security in tip-top shape.

Free Parking Proved to Be Costly
As a former captain for the Baltimore County Police Department, when Sheets arrived at LifeBridge, he had no experience in parking operations. When asked to manage this hospital’s parking system, Sheets knew he had to quickly learn the ropes so he could effectively oversee the building of two new garages and the planning of a third.

He also had to do something about the fact that the parking system was losing $250,000 a year. Sheets partnered with a parking management firm and learned from his peers at Johns Hopkins about basic parking concepts. He soon realized that the hospital would need to change its practice of not charging for 85 percent of its parking. “We were able to reduce our [unpaid] validations to about 50 percent the first year and eventually down to 15 percent,” says Sheets.

This change, along with the fact that the hospital opened a paid parking garage, has led to LifeBridge’s parking system now making an annual profit of nearly $700,000.

Nominations for the 2009 Campus Safety Director of the Year program are now being accepted! For complete information, visit

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About the Author

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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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