Institutional safety officers to patrol HSC Winnipeg starting Monday

Visitors to Winnipeg’s largest hospital can expect a safer environment moving forward with the implementation of the first batch of Institutional Safety Officers who began patrolling HSC on Monday. Kurt Black reports

By News Staff

Safety officers will be patrolling Winnipeg’s Health Sciences Centre beginning Monday, the Manitoba government announced.

The institutional safety officers (ISOs) will be tasked with keeping staff, patients and visitors safe.

They will be equipped with pepper gel. Shared Health is evaluating the “suitability” of having the ISOs carry other equipment, the province said in a news release.

They will have the legal authority to exercise powers under various provincial statutes.

Manitoba Health Minister Uzoma Asagwara called the arrival of ISOs at HSC Winnipeg “long overdue and a significant step forward.”

Asagwara says it’s all part of a plan to improve safety at the Winnipeg health-care facility.

ISOs maintain security and safety at multiple Manitoba facilities, such as hospitals and post-secondary schools. They are trained in crime prevention, de-escalation techniques, arrests, and mental health awareness.

The province says it is training more ISOs, with classes over the next three months, to fill 105 positions at HSC Winnipeg, St. Boniface Hospital, Victoria General Hospital, Brandon Regional Health Centre and Selkirk Mental Health Centre.

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