City of Topeka Release
TOPEKA, Kan. – The City of Topeka and Stormont-Vail HealthCare will not enter into an agreement for 24-hour emergency room staffing services, officials announced Friday.
Despite reports that both parties had been close to a deal, important details had not been finalized. After further talks, both parties decided not to complete an agreement.
“As our discussions continued and we reviewed the specifics of an agreement, we determined that the Police Department would not be able to provide what we need,” Stormont-Vail HealthCare CEO Randy Peterson said. “We are now looking at other options to meet our security needs.”
“Although we were not able work out an agreement,” Police Chief Ron Miller said, “TPD officers will continue to respond to Stormont-Vail when called, and will continue to serve the needs of crime victims and hospital staff.”
Stormont-Vail has the expectation and need for 24-hour staffing, but certain situations may have required officers to be called away, and operational requirements, such as shift change, would have left gaps in coverage. Stormont-Vail also had security-oriented requirements that could not have been met by police officers on duty with the City. Topeka Police officers enforce State laws and City ordinances, and would not have been able to provide all security services requested.
“While we saw potential benefits of the deal from a budget perspective, at the end of the day, our responsibility is to provide the best public safety services possible to the entire city,” City Manager Jim Colson said. “After hours of discussion, we concluded that what Stormont-Vail needs, and what we can offer, are not the same thing.”
“The City’s relationship with Stormont-Vail remains strong,” Colson added. “We appreciate the effort that was put into making this deal, and will continue to focus on supporting public safety across the city.”