Covenant Says New Security Measures Are Working - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/16/07

Covenant Says New Security Measures Are Working

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Rayshaun Parson is behind bars, but are babies safer at Covenant Medical Center now than they were eight months ago?

Covenant Vice President Gwen Stafford told NewsChannel 11 if someone was to try to take a child from the hospital sensors and alarms would go off. She says, "There is no perfect world, but the alarms will go off."

At 12:32 am on the morning of March 10th, Rayshaun Parson entered Covenant Lakeside Hospital wearing scrubs. She took the baby and twice tried to use the elevator to leave but both times the alarm sounded and the elevator stopped.

This was because of the baby's security band on her leg. Parson then went to a vacant room and removed the security sensors and ID's band from the baby so she could leave the hospital. The surveillance video shows Parson leaving the hospital with a big jacket and bag, which we later learned, was where she was hiding baby Mychael.

At a press conference on March 11th Stafford said, "Clearly we need to take security to a higher standard. This individual was pretty sufficient or at least knowledgeable of what happens in healthcare institutions. We're not going to rest until we take it up a notch."

Stafford says since then the hospital has brought in an independent consultant and done an internal review. Two months ago, NewsChannel 11 was invited into the hospital to see the security changes, things Stafford says are still in place today.

"Video surveillance is greatly increased, there are baby-free zones that if you get close the elevators lock down. There are passwords and there is wonderful education posted throughout the unit about making sure that you ask," Stafford said.

Another part of the new security measures involves people.

"Our staff has certain badges and certain uniforms so the people that work on that floor belong on that floor. And we do ongoing education in our prenatal classes, and in the physician's offices all the time," Stafford added.

For the past two months, Stafford says the hospital has been operating under the best security measures in the business. However, she says upgrades and additions are not out of the question.

"We feel what we've done is the best that there is right now. However, that does not mean tomorrow somebody will not invent something. We're staying abreast of all the new technologies," said Stafford.

Stafford told NewsChannel 11 the hospital now has multiple layers of security in place, to hopefully prevent another kidnapping. However, she adds there is no substitute for the heightened awareness of those in the hospital.

11/16/07
Rayshaun Parson Given Minimum Sentence
Rayshaun Parson will spend the next 20 years in prison.  Judge Sam Cummings gave Parson the minimum sentence. She faced anywhere from 20 years to life in prison.  NewsChannel 11's Ben Lawson has the details.
11/16/07
Baby Kidnapper's Attorney Speaks
Public Defender Helen Liggett says she's seen a complete change in Parson from the person she first met eight months ago, to the person Parson is today. NewsChannel 11's Justin Michaels has this exclusive interview.

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