New York union president wants to arm officers at NYC Health + Hospitals' 11 locations

A New York City union president said the 650 police officers who guard NYC Health + Hospital's 11 locations should carry a firearm, according to the New York Post.

The officers handle up to 1,700 violent incidents and make an estimated 300 arrests a year. Right now, they're only armed with batons and handcuffs.

"No one should be transporting prisoners in New York City without firearms — no one — for the safety of themselves or the public," Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, told the New York Post. The union represents 24,000 employees who work in government agencies, schools and municipalities in New York City and Long Island.

Officers told the post they feel ill-equipped to respond to emergency situations, especially as more hospital shooting events make the headlines. Just last week, police responded to an apparent murder suicide at Valhalla, N.Y.-based Westchester Medical Center.

"If you want us to protect your loved ones — the staff and patients — then we need the right tools to do the job," an unidentified New York City police officer told New York Post.

NYC Health + Hospitals spokesperson Bob de Luna said New York City does not support arming hospital officers, since their guns could be wrestled away and used to harm others. "Hospitals are places of healing, where people go to as havens. Guns change that," he told the New York Post.

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