A hospital security guard was arrested Friday after it was found he allegedly downloaded thousands of pieces of child pornography at work.
John Handel, 56, who worked at Shore Memorial Hospital, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child, Somers Point Capt. Michael Boyd said Monday. He has since been terminated, a hospital spokeswoman said.
Shore Memorial administrators called Thursday "in reference to an employee illegally downloading child porn onto hospital computers," Boyd said.
An investigation by the Police Department and the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Computer Crimes Unit found about 9,000 pictures depicting children in sex acts, Boyd said, adding that they were downloaded within a four-month period.
That averages to more than 80 photos per day in an average five-day week.
Police arrested Handel on Friday, and also searched his home in the Villas section of Lower Township with the assistance of the Cape May County Prosecutor's Office. Handel had no computer in the residence nor any other child pornography, police said.
The case was investigated by Somers Point Detective Roy Gandy and detectives from the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Computer Crimes Unit.
Shore Memorial's Information and Technology Department noticed unusual Internet activity, spokeswoman Deepa Patel said. The department notified hospital officials who contacted police.
"Our cooperation throughout this investigation is what led to the arrest," Patel said. "We will continue to cooperate fully."
She said she could not comment further due to the ongoing investigation.
Handel was not listed in any facilities in the state Monday evening, according to personnel at the Atlantic County Jail.