Reporting Monique Griego
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Movie theaters here in Maryland are stepping up security in the wake of the mass shooting in Colorado.
Monique Griego has more.
Baltimore City and County police have already increased patrols and placed officers at movie theater doors, but the biggest changes may still be to come.
Effects of the shooting rampage in Colorado are already being felt at movie theaters across the country, including here in Baltimore.
“I did notice there was an officer outside the theater. And it did seem like there were a lot more people working inside the theater,” Anne Mickel said.
Some moviegoers felt a little uneasy as they walked into local theaters.
“Whether it happens for the first time or happens because of a copy-cat action, you always need to be vigilant,” Matt Porter said.
But not everyone was surprised that a movie theater was targeted.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Michael Greenberger, director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security.
Greenberger formerly worked in counter-terrorism.
“This kind of mass event in a consumer situation is something that many of us have been worried about for years,” he said.
Greenberger says this mass shooting could change movie theaters the way 9/11 changed airports.
“It’s obviously a very vulnerable place,” Mickel said.
Greenberger says extra police are only a short-term solution. He believes the tragedy in Aurora will force theaters and other public places to revamp security.
“I think this is the beginning of an era of security protection that the American people are going to have to get used to,” he said.
Some theaters have already banned costumes and masks for the premiere of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises.” But that may only be the beginning of what’s to come.
“I’ll trade convenience anytime for safety,” a moviegoer said.
Most police departments are increasing patrols for the weekend, but it’s unclear if any theaters are planning long-term security changes.