After string of violent incidents, Children's Minnesota employee voices safety concerns

An employee robbed and held at gunpoint on Tuesday evening. Stray bullets hitting hospital windows in July. These are some of the scary and violent crimes staff at Children's Minnesota have had to deal with over the last two months at their Minneapolis campus.

FOX 9 spoke with one Children's Minnesota employee, who requested their identity be concealed. They say hospital staff are nervous and on edge following the recent incidents.

"(It) makes me sick to my stomach thinking that every time I walk into work, there's a chance that I could be next," they tell FOX 9.

"There are children being taken care of in these hospital walls and it's just not something that our patients and families should have to be afraid's really, really draining. It's another added burden and stress that we shouldn't have to deal with."

Calls for service to the hospital from the Minneapolis Police Department show reports of robberies, shots fired and auto theft in July and August.

Children's Minnesota Vice President of Operations Jim Leste says considering the recent crimes, they've made and will continue to make security upgrades like more lighting and patrols in parking garages.

"We share their concerns, number one. First and foremost, we are extremely concerned with what we are seeing with these random acts of violence," said Leste, who says the hospital will continue to work proactively with their law enforcement partners to keep patients and staff safe.

"We have, over the summer, over the last two years, supplemented their security team by adding additional security officers to help with interior and exterior patrols," said Leste.

But after dealing with the pandemic and staffing shortages, this employee says it all feels like the latest punch in the gut and something needs to be done soon.

"I think something has to happen city-wide because we are taking it upon ourselves. Children's is doing all they can to beef up security, but cameras aren't going to stop criminals. Gates on one entrance versus another isn't going to stop criminals. I wish there was more that could be done and that it could be done faster."

"We are healthcare workers. You like to think that's one of the safest jobs and now, it's turning into one of the most dangerous jobs."

Children's Minnesota also tells FOX 9 they meet with city leadership and the police department on a regular basis to monitor, respond to, and investigate these incidents.