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VCU and VCU Health expand weapons detection screening to academic and research buildings in Richmond

As part of a phased approach, additional safety and security updates are being implemented throughout VCU Health System.

medical center aerials 2014 Additional safety measures are being taken across the health system, including the installation weapons detection screening devices. (VCU Enterprise Marketing and Communications)

By Sara McCloskey

Virginia Commonwealth University and VCU Health System are installing weapons detection screening devices in several locations connected to VCU Medical Center next month. Some of these sites include academic and research buildings.

Weapons screening is scheduled to begin Nov. 1 at McGlothlin Medical Education Center, Sanger Hall and West Hospital. These locations were selected because they are physically connected to VCU Medical Center. This is part of a multi-step, phased approach to update safety measures throughout the health system.

All students, patients, team members and guests entering these locations can expect to pass through the weapons screening upon arrival. The screening systems are designed to detect weapons such as firearms and knives and are similar to what is seen at public venues, like sporting events.

“While these security measures are non-invasive and fast-moving, we are encouraging members of the community to plan ahead and add a few extra minutes to their commute time to account for the screening process,” said Marlon Levy, M.D., MBA, interim senior vice president of VCU Health Sciences and interim CEO of VCU Health System, in an email to the VCU and VCU Health community. “On behalf of VCU leadership, I thank you in advance for your support, understanding and patience as we work together to ensure a safe and secure environment.”

For more information about weapons screening at VCU Health System

For more information about weapons screening at VCU Health Sciences facilities

Installation will begin in the days leading up to the Nov. 1 implementation date. VCU Police and security staff will be available on site to share information and answer questions.

Weapons screening began in August to address concerns about the rise in violence and aggression towards health care workers at health systems across the country, including at VCU Health. The screening technology has been effective in managing high volumes of people coming through VCU Health buildings.

Other safety updates taking place throughout the health system include:

  • Reduced number of entry access points at VCU Medical Center, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU’s Children's Pavilion and Children's Tower and the Adult Outpatient Pavilion
  • Additional areas of badge-controlled access in appropriate areas
  • Upgrades to the emergency management notification system

VCU Health System leaders and VCU Police also encourage patients, guests and team members to report any suspicious behavior or activity.

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