Security ambassadors being added to emergency departments

Security Ambassadors will now be on duty in the emergency department of three Interior Health hospitals, including Kelowna General Hospital.

Andrew Pattison, Interior Health Manager of Protection, says the Client Service Ambassador program is to ensure the safety of staff and patients in the department.

With a casual uniform consisting of a blue polo T-shirt and khaki pants, the officers will have a soft look.

“We did that in part because they will be dealing with people coming through our hospitals that might be from marginalized population, might have had some negative interactions with traditional uniformed whether be security or law enforcement personal in the past so we just wanted to create a softer environment,” said Pattison.

He says they're trained in recognizing and de-escalating aggressive behaviours and will not carry any weapons.

Royal Inland and Vernon Jubilee hospitals will also have be introducing the ambassadors.

The initiative is based on a similar program that have been successful in several emergency departments in the Lower Mainland.