State mulls security overhaul after escape at Trenton psychiatric hospital

Posted: Updated:

(08/28/06) TRENTON ? Several security changes are in the works at Trenton State Psychiatric Hospital following the escape of a kidnapping suspect.

Two hospital employees were fired, and six others are being suspended following the August 7 escape of Edgar Rene del Cid-Perez. The Guatemalan landscaper, who was captured one day later, is accused of kidnapping his former boss's wife. Acting Human Services Commissioner Jim Smith says hospital staff performed shoddy bed checks, which allowed the suspect to leave the facility.

Smith says Human Services sent notices to every state facility about proper bed checks in light of the incident. In addition, he says his department will do a better job of immediately notifying police in the event of a future escape. Hospital officials may also close two of the four entrances at the facility and post 24-hour guards at the remaining locations. Smith is also calling for changes in the way patients are assessed and assigned to the hospital. He says he can?t understand how a suspected kidnapper, who was captured one day after the escape, would be assigned to the general population of the facility.

 

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