Greg HerreraSome may have a preconceived image of security guards at major facilities. Perhaps they picture a person in a uniform sitting inside a booth, checking credentials as people come and go, or walking down long corridors looking for suspicious activity.

But for 10-year officer Greg Herrera, and the others charged with providing security at the Arizona State Hospital (ASH) in Phoenix, the mission is much greater: maintaining a secure environment that allows behavioral health care professionals to treat patients in the safest possible setting.

The work includes the traditional role of providing a secure perimeter for the hospital and making sure the hospital environment is safe around the clock. Officers respond to all emergency situations on the campus at 24th and East Van Buren streets, and act as liaisons between the hospital and both law enforcement and emergency medical providers.

But officers also provide other important services to patients and staff. They process and inspect all mail and property coming into the hospital for potential contraband, and provide telephone services for patients, including connecting calls for patients with their families, friends and legal services.

For Greg Herrera, who had previously worked in security for five years in a trauma hospital and more than two years in airport security, the closeness and comradery among officers and others at ASH is one of the best aspects of his career. 

That teamwork was an important part of the reason the Security staff was able to provide professional service to the hospital and patients throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and continue to do so today. “We are like one big family,” he said. “We help each other out and work as a team.” 

Are you interested in pursuing a career as a security officer, or another important role at the Arizona State Hospital? Open positions are posted at