CT State Police to Make Checks at Public Facilities in Wake of Colo. Shooting

Lt. J. Paul Vance advised that state residents should remain vigilant, but not panic, as the country grapples with a shooting at a Colorado theater that left 12 dead and 38 wounded.

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 today 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.”

In Middletown, Janelle Bourne, manager of the former Destinta Theatres, now , where "The Dark Knight Rises" is playing, says the theaters does not have security. "We don't allow anyone with a backpack past the person at the ticket booth."

Middletown Police Lt. Heather Desmond says patrol officers are increasing their property checks at R/C Metro. "The business already hires us on Friday and Saturday nights," she says. "If they wish to hire us on a more regular basis, they have the option of doing that."

Actor, filmmaker and owner of the nightclub in Middletown, David Gere plays a mercenary in "The Dark Knight Rises." He's shocked at the Colorado shooting rampage.

"It's very tragic," Gere said. "The set was highly secure, and ultra-professional as it gets. The production team took extreme measures to make sure nothing went wrong on set, as there were many extras involved in a key showdown between Batman and Bane in the streets of New York City."

"I'm sure that no one could've imagined a tragedy such as this upon the release of the film," Gere said.

Vance said the state police are monitoring the news reports surrounding events of the Aurora, Colo., shooting, with happened early Friday morning. Because of the public concern over the incident, the state police will make themselves visible as a precaution, the spokesman 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.

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 in 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.”

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, .


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