Hanover Infirmary CCTV to address security concerns

Observer writer

Friday, November 16, 2018

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LUCEA, Hanover — The security of the more than 100-year-old Hanover Infirmary in Lucea has been improved with the installation of a closed-circuit television (CCTV) system valued at almost $1 million.

Hanover, which also had smoke detectors and 32 energy-efficient light bulbs installed, is the first of 14 infirmaries across the island to have the well-needed video surveillance system installed.

Local Government Minister Desmond McKenzie said the video surveillance system was installed to not only keep an eye out for people who invade the property, but also to monitor the performance of staff.

“There is no hiding that some of those who have been employed to administer care in our infirmaries should never be in the infirmaries, because they abuse the residents and somebody will have to keep an eye [on them]. That is why we have gone that far,” a stern McKenzie said.

The minister was addressing a day of activities for Local Government Month at the Hanover Infirmary on Watson Taylor Drive in Lucea, on Wednesday.

The day of activities saw representatives from Sandals Resorts International, mayors and chief executive officers from across the island and staff from the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development feeding, grooming and massaging more than 50 residents of the Hanover Infirmary. The property also received a facelift with fresh paint and beautified with flowers.

Matron of the infirmary, Hyacinth Hilton, told the Jamaica Observer that while the installation of the CCTV is welcomed, some of her staff members have reservations about it.

“Some of my staff members feel negative towards it, in a sense, where they feel that it does have something to do with not trusting them. But just the thought of having a camera watching over you, at least it puts you in a situation where you know that you will have to do much better than you used to do, or to maintain the standards,” Hilton said.

For his part, chairman of the Poor Relief Committee, Marvell Sewell, said once employees are doing their job, there is nothing to fear.

“I think if you are doing your job and if you are doing it to the best of your ability, then you should not have anything to fear. Because if you want to set up a camera in the office of the municipality, or even in the meeting room, I don't have a problem, because I go there to do my work,” stated Sewell.

The committee chairman further disclosed that the installation of the cameras was his idea because of security concerns, which include residents jumping the fence to go on the streets and the treatment of residents by caregivers.

Sewell, who commended the ministry for playing a part in the installation of the CCTV, said it is a project he would recommend for other infirmaries.

There are more than 2,000 people who rely on the State at the 14 infirmaries across the island.

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