In the wake of a horrific shooting during a midnight screening of the latest Batman movie at a Colorado theater, the Connecticut State Police will be making regular checks on facilities where people gather en masse, a spokesman told Patch.
“We’ll certainly increase our frequency, let’s put it that way,” said Lt. J. Paul Vance, Connecticut State Police spokesman. “We’ll be visible and we’ll make additional checks of areas and large facilities where people converge.”
Regal Cinemas, which has a large movieplex in Branford, which is frequented by residents of Madison and surrounding towns, issued this statement about the tragedy: "We are profoundly saddened by the tragedy that occurred at a Denver area theatre and are concerned for the victims and their families. The security and safety of our guests and staff is always our number one priority. As is our custom, we will continue to monitor the situation and adjust our security needs as necessary. In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families."
"We don't allow anyone with a backpack past the person at the ticket booth"
Janelle Bourne, manager of the former Destinta Theatres, now in Middletown, where "The Dark Knight Rises" is playing, says the theaters do not employ security officers. "We don't allow anyone with a backpack past the person at the ticket booth."
AMC Theatres posted this on its Facebook page Friday:
UPDATE - FRIDAY 2:20PM CST: AMC Theatres is deeply saddened by the Aurora tragedy. Movie going is part of our social fabric and this senseless act shakes us to our core. We’re reinforcing our security procedures with our theatre teams, which we cannot discuss in detail for obvious, safety reasons. Local law enforcement agencies, our landlords and their and our local security teams are stepping up nationwide to ensure we provide the safest environment possible for our guests. We couldn’t be more grateful for their collective support.
At this time, our show schedules circuit-wide will not change. We will not allow any guests into our theatres in costumes that make other guests feel uncomfortable and we will not permit face-covering masks or fake weapons inside our buildings. If guests wish to exchange or refund any tickets, we will honor our existing policy and do as our guests wish. We are taking necessary precautions to ensure our guests who wish to enjoy a movie this weekend can do so with as much peace of mind as possible in these circumstances.
Connecticut state police monitoring reports
Vance, from the Connecticut state police, said the state police are monitoring the news reports surrounding events of the Aurora, Colo., shooting, following the shooting early Friday morning.
Because of the public concern over the incident, the state police will make themselves visible as a precaution, Vance said.
A gunman reportedly walked into the theater and unleashed a tear gas-type substance as movie goers were watching a screening of “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises.” The heavily armed suspect then opened fire at the crowded theatre, reportedly killing 12 people and injuring 38.
This shouldn't cause panic, but regular checks will be done
The Huffington Post has identified the suspect as 24-year-old James Holmes. He was later caught outside the theater.
As tragic as the event was, Vance noted that this shouldn’t cause panic in the minds of the public. But in an interest of public safety, state police patrol cars will make regular checks on facilities where people gather en masse.
“But we also want people to understand that they should be vigilant and observant,” Vance said. “Some of the basic common sense measures when they go into a facility that holds many people know where the exits are.”
See something, say something
And, as always, if a person sees something suspicious, they should report it to the proper authorities, he said.
“We will do our part being visible and making periodic checks,” he said.
The New York Police Department has implemented a similar security boost earlier today, when Commissioner Ray Kelly said there would be more officers at movie theaters as a precaution against copycats and to raise movie goers’ comfort levels, .
The shooting has had repercussions worldwide, as the Paris premier of the Dark Knight Rises film was canceled as of Friday, CNN reported:
In the wake of the early morning shooting at an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater during a screening of "The Dark Knight Rises," studio Warner Bros. has canceled the Paris premiere of the film as well as interviews for "The Dark Knight Rises" cast.
will be increasing security at the following an overnight shooting at a Colorado showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" in which 12 were killed and at least 50 injured.
West Hartford police visiting theater, offering ideas for increased security
Assistant Chief Joseph LaSata said that a representative from West Hartford Police visited the movie theater today, and has offered them ideas for increased security.
"We will be increasing our visibility and coverage around the cinemas," LaSata said Friday afternoon. The additional coverage was not requested by movie theater management, but is being implemented pro-actively by the West Hartford Police Department, said LaSata.
Representatives from Criterion Cinemas could not be reached for comment.
Movie opened to packed houses
"The Dark Knight Rises" opened to packed houses at 12:01 a.m. Friday on several screens at the West Hartford theater.
Bow Tie Criterion Cinemas in West Hartford will be showing "The Dark Knight Rises" on several screens today and throughout the weekend, and moviegoers can expect an increased security presence.
"We will use this as an opportunity to strengthen our relationship with them," LaSata said.
New York City, Stamford police react
New York City Police morning that patrols and increased security would be added to theaters to deter copycat attacks. In Stamford, the police department played their hand slightly closer to the chest.
According to Assistant Chief James Matheny, in charge of patrols:
"I can't talk about that. We have some plans in place. We're well aware of the incident. We always assume something terrible is not going to be single incident and then we plan for the worst. I'm not giving any details at this point, because we don’t want to give up anything we might have going on."