LINTON, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Greene County General Hospital has officially implemented their own police department, a move that has been years in the making. 

Chief of police Bryan Woodall said he first mentioned making the move about 18 months ago. He said the main concern was staffing. 

“As time went on, it’s getting harder and harder to find officers, there’s a shortage of staff everywhere,” he said. “We’re thinking and we’re hoping that we since we can establish our own police department, we can establish our own training. So we can hire them ourselves, we’ll put them through the training here.”

The hospital has had a security force since 2013, but had trouble getting officers through other departments. Woodall said the training would be shorter, as the officers at the hospital don’t have to prepare for certain events. 

“It would be different, just because we don’t have the road aspect. We still have domestic incidents, vandalisms, criminal mischiefs… but we don’t have the roadwork. We’re not out working crashes, we’re not out working burglaries,” he said,

Woodall said he spent time preparing by reaching out to other hospitals to get familiar with common policies and procedures. He said he believes the officers main goal is helping patients.

“I like to pride ourselves on being the customer service side of the hospital,” he said. “We greet patients, we escort patients, a very little bit of what we do here is considered law enforcement.”

Six officers were sworn in at the hospital’s board meeting on Dec. 20th. Woodall said four officers will have to undergo the training program, which takes about eight weeks.