This: on the second anniversary of Tim McLean’s killing on a Winnipeg-bound Greyhound bus.

Arguably Manitoba’s most notorious death.

Supplementary Security Precautions Being Put in Place to Ensure Public Safety: Centre

The Selkirk Mental Health Centre (SMHC) advises it has developed a plan to ensure public safety while respecting mental-health professional advice and a recent Manitoba Criminal Code Review Board ruling to grant escorted walks on the grounds of the centre to a high-profile forensic patient currently receiving treatment.

SMHC already has 10 trained full-time security officers and one full-time security manager on staff. Two more full-time security officers have been hired and will be dedicated to escorting forensic patients when required under disposition orders.

All security staff members at SMHC are designated special constables with special police tactical training from Manitoba Sheriff Services. The security officers will have the authority to take forensic patients into custody and return them to the centre if required.

Security officers carry handcuffs and radios with an emergency call button. SMHC’s emergency system involves all staff on duty and Selkirk RCMP if required.

SMHC has also recently installed $400,000 in security equipment upgrades which include more video surveillance and access controls throughout the property.

In order to comply with the recent Criminal Code Review Board’s ruling, the following additional safety and security measures will also be in place for the patient:

· two security officers and one clinical staff member will provide the escorts,

· walks will be restricted to periods when staff numbers at the centre are at their peak,

· all risks will be assessed by the treatment team before each individual pass is issued, and

· no pass privileges will be approved until all security measures are in place.

It is expected to take approximately two months to finalize these security enhancements.

The centre said these measures were designed to ensure public safety and take into consideration the needs of the general population at SMHC who are there solely for health-care purposes.
The security plan has been shared with the RCMP and they will be advised when the walks begin.

Other recent security enhancements include external and internal security reviews that led to policy and procedure changes including increasing the detail and frequency searches of rooms and people in the forensic area.

The Selkirk Mental Health Centre provides long-term mental-health and acquired brain injury in-patient treatment and rehabilitation services to residents of Manitoba whose treatment and rehabilitation needs cannot be met by other services in the province.

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James Turner

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