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VA Doesn’t Plan to Increase Security After Suicides


By Cathryn Jakicic Security
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© Jonathan West | Shutterstock

Despite a number of recent veteran suicides and at least one shooting on the premises of Department of Veterans Affairs facilities, VA officials are not planning to ramp up security at VA centers through the use of metal detectors, according to Military.com.

It's a delicate balance between providing a safe environment at the VA and keeping facilities accessible to all, according to Dr. Keita Franklin, the VA's National Director of Suicide Prevention. And officials, she said, are sensitive about taking steps that might undermine that message of openness.

"We want our VA facilities to be warm and welcoming -- a place where veterans are willing, where they want to go. We don't want them to perceive the facilities as places where they get hassled or that they have any level of barrier when it comes to accessing care," Franklin told Military.com.

The incidents have prompted changes in a Florida facility's security plan, which now has an additional level of security at all of its entrances and in the emergency department. Adding metal detectors, however, is not under consideration.

Cathryn Jakicic is healthcare industries editor of FacilitiesNet.com. For more information on hospital campuses and other medical facilities, visit Healthcare Facilities Today.

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