Suburban and Rural Gang Presence: Preempting Violence in Response to This Shifting Threat for Hospitals
Keywords:gangs, hospital violence, gang violence
The threat of gang violence spilling over into healthcare settings has become a reality in communities of all sizes. In particular, many people still perceive suburban and rural areas as being havens from significant organized crime when they may actually be places where criminal gang activity and violence is less detectable from law enforcement. Additionally, lesser populated regions of the nation often have small and sometimes underfunded police departments, which can make those communities vulnerable and attractive to criminals trying to avoid larger cities with more sophisticated gang units. To deal with the potential for gang violence in the hospital setting, there is a need to understand the basics of the gang culture, related behaviors, and the continuing gang threat. The keys to a successful campaign against gang violence in a hospital setting are training and education of security and clinical staff, including coordination and cooperation with law enforcement, and proper reporting procedures and protocols.