Westchester Medical Center banned guns but had no metal detectorsPosted: Updated:
The Westchester Medical Center, where police say a 71-year-old man entered and gunned down his wife and himself in a murder-suicide Wednesday, had a no-gun policy but no metal detectors to help enforce it.
The hospital says it plans to re-evaluate its security protocols, but officials are also praising staff members and first responders for how they handled the incident.
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Hospital leaders say staff members regularly drill for active shooter situations and responded appropriately. Police say officers arrived in the fourth-floor room in less than three minutes to find the suspect, the victim and a gun on the floor.
The hospital has security guards on its grounds 24/7.
But that didn't stop Yorktown resident Richard DeLucia from entering with a .38-caliber revolver.
"Metal detectors are usually very effective," says Peter Moreno, a security expert. But, he says, hospitals rarely use them.
"Hospitals are different," he explains. "There are people coming and going for various reasons. It's not a place that lends itself necessarily for metal detectors."
But as shootings continue to happen at schools and public places around the country, Moreno says institutions are growing more willing to increase security measures.
"It raises the debate of what society is willing to accept in terms of an intrusion on their ability to move freely," he says. "As time goes on, society appears to be more willing to give up those freedoms in order to protect the masses."