An Indiana hospital is developing its own police department in an attempt to avoid having to lean on outside forces when the need for help arises.

According to the Star Press, IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital in Muncie is scheduled to swear in its police department in early April. Recent legislation allows hospital boards to establish a police department, as long as officers complete training, pass a psychiatric evaluation and a criminal background check.

Officials say having an on staff police force will contribute to added security, while not being forced to rely on outside resources.

"What we do on a daily basis will not change, but the level of training will be a positive change for us," said Chief Doug Hale, head of hospital security. "Everyone will be required to go to the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, so we believe that will also help the community and our patients here, and also the local law enforcement agencies, over time, won't have to come here as often or be here as long."

Hale admits that putting together a police force from the bottom up has presented some challenges, but he says with the help of consultant Rusty Goodpaster, executive director of the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy, it has been easier.

Those currently employed as security personnel will have the opportunity to apply to join the force.

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