WILMINGTON, NC - (WECT) - The increase in gang violence in Wilmington over the past several months is prompting even more discussion, this time in hospitals.
As part of the 25th annual Trauma Symposium, staffers from the New Hanover Regional Medical Center and other area hospitals were briefed on how to recognize gang members and why it's important.
Speaker Jon-Paul Guarino worked with an area gang task force for years, Friday he told hospital staffers that being able to recognize gang members is extremely important because it helps prepare staff for what could happen.
"A lot of times it can get heated between staff and gang members, police and gang members, and in some cases and what can make it the most dangerous is rival gangs can show up because they know there will be a concentration of that person's gang there," said Guarino. He said that one time when he was working in a hospital, the hospital had to lock down because a high-level gang member was admitted, and they were worried the rival gang would try to get in and start a fight.
Officials with the New Hanover Regional Medical Center said they do have a policy in place for whenever a victim of a violent attack is admitted. That person is marked in the computer system so their location is not given away, hospital police are notified and extra security is placed in the area.
Those security measures can also increase on a case by case basis.
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