Cape Cod Hospital to Improve Employee Parking Lot Safety

Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis.

HYANNIS – Following an attempted robbery of a Cape Cod Hospital employee over the weekend, security staff are seeking to make the employee parking lot safer.

Director of Security and Emergency Preparedness Frank Riccio recently sent a memo to staff letting them know about the incident which happened Saturday night.

According to Yarmouth Police, the victim reported that he was walking to his car when another man approached and said “drop your money.”

The employee then ran back to the hospital and the suspect fled in the other direction.

The description of the suspect was a white male, between 25-35 years of age, with medium to long dark brown hair, about 5’10” and 180 pounds.

Riccio said an assessment of the parking lot was conducted following the incident and that planned safety improvements include the installation of more emergency call boxes, and making them more visible.

“We do have a pretty robust surveillance system out there but there are a few spots that we could certainly improve on too,” Riccio said.

“We are also going to do some additions there.”

There are also plans to install fencing around the lot.

“Enclosing the lot fully would be helpful because I would like to make that a one-way in, one-way out environment,” Riccio said.

Security staff will also conduct more patrols of the lot during the evening and at shift change times. Yarmouth Police also have plans on patrolling the lot more often as well.

Riccio said the hospital has a great relationship with both Barnstable and Yarmouth Police.

“They actually reached out to me on times that may be more beneficial,” Riccio said.

Security staff are also looking at improving escorts out to cars if requested by staff.

Although Riccio said only one car break-in of an unlocked vehicle in the lot has been reported, there are reports from other employees that other break-ins have been attempted.

“We do talk to staff about safety and security in general,” said Emily Schorer, the SVP of Human Resources for Cape Cod Heathcare.

Cape Cod Healthcare has a Workplace Violence and Security Advisory Group. It started as a task force to conduct a security and safety assessment of the organization. The group now meets a few times each year to go over key issues that arise.

“At our many facilities we will occasionally hear from employees about concerns about lighting, access to buildings and what have you,” Schorer said.

Riccio encourages any employees, patients or visitors to report break-ins or other suspicious activity.

“Whenever we get a call for something like that or any other event, we respond to it. We do a full report on it and that is something that we keep electronically and we track and trend those events,” he said.

Riccio said they are trying to expedite the safety improvements, and met with vendors for the fencing Tuesday.

“Some of the call boxes and some of the cameras are going to take a little of time,” he said. “There will be some locations where we will probably cut some asphalt to get some conduit in.”

Riccio said that keeping everyone safe will be a community effort and is providing tips for staff, patients and visitors.

It is recommended that people try to walk through the parking lots in pairs. If walking alone, individuals should try to stay in well-lit areas and away from hiding spots such as bushes and doorways.

“We are really trying to push awareness,” Riccio said. “Being aware of your surroundings is paramount.”

He said people can get complacent and are on their cell phones or texting.

Other tips include walking with confidence and keeping your head up to look around.

Avoid wearing headphones or being distracted by cell phones or other devices. Digging in a purse, bag, or backpack is also not recommended.

Riccio said people should be prepared when leaving the hospital and to have keys ready and an employee badge ready to unlock building doors.

Vehicles should be locked and valuables should be kept out of sight.

Strangers near your vehicle should also not be approached and security personnel should be contacted.

About Brian Merchant

Brian Merchant grew up in Central Massachusetts and now lives in South Dennis on the Cape. He has been part of the news team in the NewsCenter since the spring of 2014. He studied radio broadcasting at the University of Tennessee.
737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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