Columbus Regional Health is pleased to announce the swearing in of the Chief of Police and Assistant Chief of the newly formed Columbus Regional Hospital Police Department.
Anthony “Tony” Pope, Certified Healthcare Protection Administrator (CHPA), will serve as Columbus Regional Hospital Chief of Police. The organization is also pleased to welcome James Webster, who will serve as Assistance Chief. Pope and Webster were official sworn in in late March. The official ceremony marked one milestone in the transitional process as the health system works to develop and implement its law enforcement status. The Columbus Regional Health Board of Trustees approved the formation of a Columbus Regional Hospital Police Department at the December 2020.
“The safety and protection of our patients, workforce, and visitors are of the utmost importance, and this needed change provides a greater level of security for everyone as well as enhanced training and support for the department,” said Pope.
The newly formed Police Department will consist of a combination of CRH Protective Services employees who are sworn and non-sworn officers. Several officers will undergo training at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy to become sworn officers.
Chief Tony Pope, a US Navy Veteran, joined CRH in 2016. He has more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement with special training and operations in SWAT, hostage negotiations and criminal investigations. Pope is the current Chair for the Indiana Chapter of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety. Under his leadership, Columbus Regional Health Protective Services was named a Program of Distinction by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety.
Asst. Chief James Webster joined the team after serving 27 years with the North Vernon Police Department, with 14 years as Chief of Police. Webster holds special training and certification in a variety of areas including weapons instruction, emergency management and field training.
“I am excited to join an already excellent and well-positioned healthcare safety and security team at CRH,” Webster said. “I look forward to this exciting transition for our police department, as additional capability and capacity is developed to enhance the safety and preparedness of our organization.”
Both Pope and Webster hold extensive experience in law enforcement administration and executive leadership.