Providence parking garage break-ins prompt petition from staff
Employees at Providence Alaska Medical Center are fed up with years of break-ins and thefts in the hospital's parking garages.
The hospital encourages everyone who parks in their garages to keep their cars empty, locked, and to make sure no valuables are in view.
Respiratory therapist Chelsea Davies-Gardner says that wasn’t enough to deter a criminal from smashing her car window last week while parked at work.
“There wasn't anything in there. They just kind of looked in that center compartment and the glove box,” Davies-Gardner said.
She says she's just one victim among many, but after filing a MoveOn petition calling the hospital out she hopes to be among the last.
“The reason I kind of started the petition and all of this is because I didn't want anyone else to feel the way that I felt,” Davies-Gardner said.
In the petition, Davies-Gardner asks Providence to “create an employee parking garage that requires a badge, secure it with fencing, and patrol it 24/7. Visitor parking should be patrolled for vehicle security 24/7 as well (not just at random for parking violations.)”
“We just want to do the best job that we can for Providence and for our patients, and it really makes a difference for us when we have to be inside worrying about our property,” Davies-Gardner said.
Since Davies-Gardner started the petition, others have reached out to her with their own stories. The owner of another car said she had just finished a night shift at Providence about a year ago when she discovered all four of her tires had been stolen.
Respiratory therapist Kate Timmon says her car hasn't been broken into, but she fears it won’t be long.
“The people that are doing this know this is an easy spot and so they come back time and time again because nothing has been done,” Timmon said.
Providence Alaska Medical Center released a statement outlining some safety and security measures taken:
• During the past three years we have added more than 200 cameras and increased lighting in our parking garages. We are also planning to add an additional 30 cameras;
• We have a security department officer assigned specifically to the parking areas and have other security department staff patrolling the parking lots when time permits; and
• The hospital has also explored the feasibility of adding automatic gates at the parking garage entrances, adding additional lights and cameras, and other possible deterrents.
“It's nice to be able to watch the crime happen later but it doesn't prevent these things from happening,” Davies-Gardner said.
She hopes the hospital will take more proactive action to keep people's property safe at Providence.
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