San Francisco Hospitals Push for Private Security Forces

SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco General Hospital and Laguna Honda Hospital officials are pushing for private security guards to patrol their facilities, rather than using the sheriff’s deputies and institutional police officers.

Hospital personnel have been trying to start a less costly and more effective private security force for three years; however, labor unions, such as the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Board of Supervisors, have prevented the privatization. Now, in the wake of the Sheriff’s Department’s admission that deputies failed to search a locked stairwell at SFGH, where missing patient Lynne Spaulding was found dead, hospital officials are trying to get the program off the ground, the San Francisco Gate reports.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has supported hiring private guards at SFGH, Laguna Honda and eight other city clinics, with the hopes to save $4 million annually. However, the effort was blocked by SEIU Local 1021

The Sheriff’s Department, which strongly opposes privatization, says the department just needs more money and equipment. It plans to add three more deputies to monitor SFGH.

Read the full story.

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