New Virginia law requires 24/7 security at ERs

Hospitals across Virginia will now be required to have at least one off-duty officer or trained security personnel in their emergency departments at all times, according to a new law

The law will also require hospitals to undergo an independent security assessment and subsequently develop and implement a security plan, NBC affiliate WVIR reported Sept. 9. It went into effect July 1.

The security plans will "ensure such officers providing security receive training in the use of weapons, defensive tactics, de-escalation techniques, appropriate physical restraint techniques, crisis intervention, and trauma-informed approaches in identifying and safely addressing situations involving patients, family members, or other persons who pose a risk of harm to themselves or others due to mental illness or substance abuse or who are experiencing a mental health crisis," the bill reads

The training security personnel receive must also satisfy requirements by completing auxiliary police officer training through the state Department of Criminal Justice Services.

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