$80,000 System Helps Protect N.Y. Hospital

A new, $80,000 surveillance system in the public areas of Oswego Hospital began operation early this month, a hospital official said.

The new cameras inside and outside public entrances are routinely monitored, said public relations manager Marion Ciciarelli. There are no cameras in patient-care areas.

"We are a public facility, and we are open to the public," Ciciarelli said. "We want a safe experience while people are here."

In addition to cameras, there soon will be card-readers restricting access to employee areas of the facility. It is not certain when that system, which will control employees' access and have no impact on public or patient-care areas, will be implemented.

The hospital's security measures follow University Hospital's decision in February to issue identification badges to all visitors. The Syracuse hospital pointed to recent incidents at local hospitals as justification for the measure.

Those problems haven't made it to Oswego, so far.

"We haven't had the issues the Syracuse hospitals have had," Ciciarelli said. "We didn't want to take people by surprise. We're being proactive."

She said the system has the ability to expand, if needed. The General Electric system was paid for with government grants.