Marion General Hospital now has its own police department.
The hospital celebrated the swearing-in of the first-ever Marion General Hospital Police Department on Monday. The MGH officers will have the same level of authority as the Marion Police Department, but limited to the hospital’s campus.
“MGH found the need to re-evaluate our own level of security,” said Stephanie Hilton-Siebert, MGH president and ceo. “Through this process, it was found that creating an MGH police department would provide enhanced safety for patients, visitors and staff.”
The police department comes amid the passing of Indiana Senate Bill 582, passed in 2013, which allows hospitals to establish a police department, appoint hospital police officers, prescribe duties and direct the conduct of the hospital police.
MGH began the process of establishing its own department in 2017, according to Hilton-Siebert.
The Monday ceremony was led by Hilton-Siebert. Grant County Superior Court Judge Warren Haas was on hand during the official swearing in of the MGH police officers.
The first sworn-in officer was Director of Protective Services Patrick Kolb, who is MGH’s first-ever Chief of Police.
Sworn-in officers include Michael Cruea, Elijah Bilbee and retired Marion Police Detective Jay Kay. Those who were sworn-in were joined by family members in front of a room of hospital employees, physicians, volunteers and community members.
The MGH officers have successfully completed the mandatory training outlined by the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board. The hospital plans to expand the MGH police force as more MGH protective services employees complete the training.
Throughout the process of creating a police department, the hospital has been assisted by Grant County Sheriff Reggie Nevels and Marion Chief of Police Angela Haley.
“Not unlike the relationship with the Grant County Sheriff Department or the State Police, we will be working with the (MGH PD),” said Angela Haley, Marion Chief of Police. “We had a great working relationship with them already when they were a security department.
Marion police officers will still be at the hospital daily to obtain medical clearance for individuals that MPD arrests, according to Haley.
However, for instances that occur on hospital grounds, such as a battery, the MPD will no longer need to take care of the incident, Haley said. This will be an ease on MPD resources, she added.
“Anytime that you have a department with professional police officers working it enhances everyone’s safety,” Haley said.