High-tech security at Long Island pharmacy

February 7, 2012 2:36:29 PM PST
A Long Island pharmacy is taking a high-tech approach in the fight against prescription drug theft.

New technology installed there makes robbing a bank seem like an easy task.

Authorities hope the beefed-up security catches on at pharmacies across the area, to prevent any more tragedies.

You could call it the drug store of the future.

"We're carrying the medications that nobody wants to carry," said Marc Wiener, co-owner of Linden Care.

But Syosset's Linden Care is more than a fantasyland of computerized pill counting and labeling machines, it's more like a fortress.

Co-owners Marc Wiener and Jordan Fogel call it a model for securing prescription narcotics and those who dispense them.

"We're able to go home at night knowing we're doing the right thing for ourselves and for our patients," Wiener said.

The security at Linden Care is like no other pharmacy.

First, you open this outer door and walk into a little vestibule.

They look at you through a camera, and only then, if they decide they're going to let you in, that's when they open the inner door.

You walk past an employee who's carrying a Glock 9 millimeter.

You have to do all of that, just to get to the waiting room.

If the precautions seem extreme, the owners say they simply have no choice.

People in their profession are now the number one target in an epidemic of crime.

The massacre of two employees and two customers at a drug store in Medford and the death of an off-duty federal agent trying to thwart a Seaford pharmacy robbery are just the most sensational examples.

But cops say drug-related crime happens every day.

Steven Skrynecki is chief of department, for Nassau County Police.

"Opiate drug addiction is so strong, and so compelling, it drives other crimes to levels that we haven't experienced before," Chief Skrynecki said.

His agency is now offering up its counterterrorism teams to provide risk assessments in helping pharmacists secure their stores.

At Linden Care, you'll find no beauty products and no lottery tickets.

"We don't have anyone here coming in; they're not casing the joint," said Jordan Fogel, co-owner of Linden Care.

Just that barebones waiting room where customers are watched by armed security and their ID is verified through their drivers licenses.

Next week, they'll be beefing up security even more with the addition of bulletproof glass.

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