NBC10 - Na’eem Douglas
Hospital workers protested silently outside the Ann Klein Forensic Center in Trenton. They say its not a safe place to work. The facility houses patients with mental disorders.
Dozens of officers held a protest outside of Trenton’s psychiatric hospital due to what they claim are unsafe working conditions.
Employees at the Ann Klein Forensic Facility, located on Sullivan Way, say they’re routinely attacked by patients and have even been hospitalized.
“I had my eye knocked out of the socket,” said Louis Hargis, one of the workers. “A broken orbital fracture. I was out of work for four months because of that injury.”
Ann Klein houses about 200 patients with mental disorders. The patients come from correctional centers however and many are considered dangerous.
“The residents here run the asylum,” Hargis said. “That’s what it feels like.”
Early Monday morning, dozens of officers who work at the facility gathered outside to protest and bring attention to an issue they claim management won’t address.
NBC10 tried to talk to the CEO of the facility Glenn Ferguson. He would not comment however.
Andrea Wright, who has worked at the facility for 11 years is now off the job after she says she broke her ankle when she was attacked by a patient. Wright claims the building needs more officers. At the moment, the group claims the ratio is about 12 patients for every officer.
“It makes me angry that I’m here,” Wright said. “I feel like the people at the Ann Klein Forensic Center who I put my life on the line for everyday don’t care.”
Shortly after the demonstration, the organizers say they were contacted by Jennifer Valez, the Commissioner of the facility’s Department of Human Services, who agreed to speak with them about safety. A representative or Valez told NBC10 that safety for the officers is a “top priority.”