BEATRICE – Beatrice Community Hospital will pay the City of Beatrice to station a police officer at the hospital, to provide security.
The Beatrice City Council approved the agreement, Tuesday night. BCH will pay the city $210,000 in the first year of a five-year agreement, which involves establishing a police substation at the hospital.
"What we're proposing is that for those of you who have been to the emergency room....as you walk in the doors, to the right was a secretary in a glassed-off area....that will become the Beatrice Police Department substation."
Police Chief Bruce Lang says the hospital’s administrator approached the city about the idea, which would replace the hospital hiring its own security staff.
The hospital station would be staffed, Lang says, primarily during peak hours of activity.
"That officer will be able to take reports from somebody who is out there, and maybe is a victim of domestic violence...and they want to report it to an officer. This officer could do that, or could be there to help quell a disturbance, which unfortunately happens at the hospital, on occasion...in emergency rooms, especially. He could provide a lot of functions out there. The hospital is paying one hundred percent of the bill...there will be no cost to the taxpayers."
The service is expected to begin in September. While the police department seeks to fill full-time positions, Lang says part-time sworn officers from the area may be utilized to fill in some gaps.
Police officers staffing the substation would be able to respond elsewhere in the community, if needed.