Some Questions About Theater Safety After Colorado Shooting
(Memphis) After the shooting in a Colorado theater, many are asking just how safe are MidSouth theaters and how equipped our own police are to handle this kind of situation.
None of the theaters the On Your Side Investigators requested to visit would allow our cameras inside.
However, when we went in without cameras, we did not see any visible upgrades in security.
Memphis police say they have no reason to believe there are any threats still they are prepared.
The noon opening of the Dark Knight Rising brought with it anticipation.
One of those waiting outside for the theater to open was Terez Wilson, “I’m a huge fan since I was a kid.”
The shooting in Colorado added something else to the movie premier people hadn’t expected.
For some, there is now a new anxiety about going to the movies.
“It’s not just this particular tragedy in Colorado. It is also what every person who enjoys going to movies will have to think about. You know, there’s no safety now,” said Valerie Griffith, Bartlett.
Max Allen said, “There’s not really any security guards or anything, just movie theater employees so if they’re not really looking hard for people concealing things it could definitely happen.”
Malco Theater’s CEO said security is always important.
A representative also said they’re reviewing all of their security measures.
Those measures apparently don’t include asking Memphis police to step up patrols.
Police Director Toney Armstrong says the company didn’t contact them but they are monitoring the situation, “The precincts that we have that have a theater inside of them, we always have an increased patrol around them anyway. I can’t say for certain that we’ll be doing anything differently.”
Armstrong said all officers now train to confront live shooters.
Last summer they confronted and arrested a gunman in a downtown hotel after a shooting killed two people, including Memphis Police Officer Timothy Warren.
Armstrong said, “Because of the culture that we live in now our officers are trained to go ahead and access the threat and go ahead and take the necessary steps to bring him to justice.”
However, those attending the movies today hope the only action they see is from a block buster movie on the big screen.
“Scary thinking you are coming to the theater that something like that could happen. You’re going to watch a movie and then somebody, something happens like that,” said Zach Allen, Bartlett.
Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is also weighing in on this tragedy saying he’s concerned about the amount of fire power on the streets.
He says police everywhere are being out-gunned by criminals and that is part of the problem.
He believes part of the solution is legislation to change that.