SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said he wants the sheriff’s department to remain in charge of security at San Francisco General but that he is also vowing changes after a missing patient was found dead.
San Francisco General Hospital and the Sheriff’s Department are overhauling how security services are conducted at county hospitals in the wake of patient Lynne Spalding’s death.
She went missing and was found dead more than two weeks later in a stairwell.
“The budget for security services is not our budget; it’s the Department of Public Health. So what they pay for is essentially four deputies at a fixed sentry post,” Mirkarimi told KCBS.
He said the hospital, which occupies a 24-acre campus, is 30 percent understaffed.
“If we are going to fulfill the expectation of being the second largest law enforcement agency, then I insist on the proper resources of staffing and assets that help us do our job properly,” Mirkarimi said.
He thinks contracting hospital security is not a good option; they would not have the training or expertise to patrol the interior and exterior of the hospital which is located in a challenged community.
While the contracting out security services for San Francisco General is an idea that has been floated around for some time, Mirkarimi opposed the move when he was city supervisor.
You can hear the entire interview with Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi on “KCBS In Depth” which will air on Sunday, Jan. 12 at 8:30 a.m. and 8:30 p.m.