This week’s Safety & Security Corner focuses on a frequently asked question about armed security guards. As always, staff should report safety concerns by telling a manager, calling Security at 617-732-6565 or emailing non-urgent questions to

Why aren’t BWH’s security guards armed?

There is no evidence that having armed security guards lowers the rate of hospital violence, and every hospital must examine its own unique environment and develop the best approaches to safety. At BWH, our Security Department is dedicated to providing a safe and secure environment for all employees, patients, families and visitors. It is supported by at least one armed Boston Police officer on-site at the hospital who has the ability to dispatch additional armed officers to the hospital within minutes in an emergency situation.

“We want everyone to be aware, alert and communicative and to know what to do in an emergency situation. We do not want people to be afraid,” said Bob Donaghue, operations manager for Security and Parking. “Hospitals are safer places without guns inside them.”

The security teams at BWH’s peer institutions, including Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston Medical Center, are not armed.