La. Foundation Reconsidering Plan to Privatize Hospital Police Force
LSU is arguing the Biomedical Research Foundation’s plan puts the safety of students, patients and hospital staff in jeopardy.
Louisiana’s Biomedical Research Foundation, or BRF, may change its plans to privatize the University Health police force after current officers and Louisiana State University voiced their disapproval.
The privately-owned foundation, which is part of an economic development initiative according to its website, had planned for the private police transition to begin September 30. BRF purchased University Health in Shreveport and University Health Conway in Monroe from the state in 2013.
But an LSU official says the proposed move makes the university concerned about the safety of students, patients and staff. The university runs its medical school in association with the two hospitals. The school fears BRF will replace current officers with security guards who cannot make arrests. There have already been 29 arrests at the hospital in Shreveport in 2015.
The two hospital’s police forces were the only segments of hospital workers who remained under state control after BRF’s purchase. The officers, all of whom are currently state civil service employees as well as commissioned police officers, were told about the switch on July 31, according to shreveporttimes.com.
A BRF official says the company plans to keep existing hospital police employed and will have police available to help security guards when necessary.
But despite what BRF says a local police union president reported that his officers are “very concerned about their future.”
There are currently 31 police officers working at the hospital in Shreveport and 11 working in Monroe.
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