The Juan F. Luis Hospital increased its security over the weekend as it saw an increase in the number of patients needing care at the emergency room, a result of the rash of shootings that began Friday afternoon on St. Croix.
According to a news release from the hospital Sunday night, the hospital implemented security protocols to ensure that employees were able to care for patients in a safe and secure environment. The steps taken were made with support from the Office of the Governor, U.S. Virgin Islands Superior Court, Virgin Islands Emergency Territorial Management Agency and the V.I. Police Department, the hospital said.
As part of the declaration of emergency issued Saturday by acting Gov. Osbert Potter, peace officers from other agencies including the courts and VITEMA, were deputized as law enforcement officers and put into service over the weekend.
In its news release, the hospital’s leadership team asked the St. Croix community for understanding and cooperation while the new security protocols are in place.
"Please cooperate with the instructions of the security personnel greeting you as you enter the facility. Every employee and visitor may be subject to a random search of personal belongings and self," the hospital said in its release.
Dr. Kendall Griffith, CEO of the hospital, said JFL’s medical and support teams was able to treat the influx of ER patients while maintaining normal operations.