CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – Reid Health has announced it will begin transitioning its security department to a state-recognized police department. Training and certifications for the 25-member security team in Richmond and Connersville will be underway this month as Reid makes the shift.
Director of Reid Health’s Security Services Randy Kolentus says violence toward care providers has been on the upswing in recent years, including cases of employee injury when attempting to provide patient care.
“The threat is real. Reid will not tolerate verbal or physical abuse of its care providers and staff. Having our team designated police officers will give them more flexibility in dealing with these issues, including the option to arrest,” he said.
Officers at the hospital will have arrest authority, allowing them to shut down potentially violent incidents. Officials say the department will create what will be the third largest police force in the county, following the Richmond Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff’s Department.
Reid Health has also begun implementing heightened security measures, including requiring visitor passes and IDs after 9 p.m. through 5 a.m. for visitors and family members.
The department director and five experienced former officers make up the team, and many of them have previous law enforcement experience. The team includes:
- Director Randy Kolentus, who retired after more than 28 years with Richmond Police Department before joining Reid Health in 2006. He is certified by the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) as a training officer and firearms instructor.
- Richmond Security Manager Jeff Cappa, who served two terms as Wayne County Sheriff starting in 2010, and was Indiana Sheriff of the Year in 2013. He also served eight years as chief deputy as well.
- Connersville Security Manager Dennis Perkins who served on the Connersville Police Department for 20 years and is also a certified instructor with the ILEA.
An additional six Reid staffers are retired officers and 10 came from jail or prison settings. Four currently serve as reserve police officers.