Hiram Police To Maintain Current Theater Presence
The department has no plans to modify its current security detail at Movies 278 following a shooting at a Colorado movie theater.
In wake of the shooting in a Colorado movie theater during the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, communities across the country look to their local police to ensure that the same thing doesn't happen in their towns.
Following last night’s shooting, moviegoers here in Hiram may be more apt to notice those providing security at Movies 278. But the armed off-duty officers they’ll spot won’t be there because of an incident that happened across the country—they are there each and every weekend.
“We have officers that work in the movie theater as part-time jobs—the movie theater employs us to come in, two officers at a time. We stay in the theater and when it’s really crowded, we stay up front so as people come in, we’re watching to make sure everything’s kosher when they’re coming through the door,” says Detective Donald Roberts of the Hiram Police Department. “It’s the most crowded place in Hiram on a Friday or Saturday, so that’s why we like to have officers there.
“Anytime you go into the movie theater on a Friday or Saturday night, there are two guys there, and a lot of times there’s more than two—sometimes the patrol guys will also meet out in the parking lot or go in and talk to the guys who are working their part-time jobs,” he added.
Roberts said that since the theater maintains security for its busiest times, an increase in the number of officers present is not expected.
“I don’t think the movie theater or the police department is looking at putting more than two officers in there. We haven’t made any plans to up any additional security on top of what we already have,” he said. “Most theaters around don’t have two armed officers on weekend nights—if you go into Cobb County, you have that at a lot of theaters, you have armed officers working part-time, but not at all of them. But we’re there every weekend night, and there are always at least two officers there.”
The department also had a presence at the theater Thursday night as it held a midnight opening of The Dark Knight Rises.
Do you feel safe at Movies 278 or other locations in Hiram? Tell us in the comments.
Roberts said part of the officers’ duties for the theater is to check those who bring in duffel bags or bookbag—not just for security purposes but to also check to see if patrons are bringing in food, drinks or other items banned by management.
Roberts added that if the Hiram theater were to experience a situation like the shooting in Colorado, authorities would be able to respond quickly because of the off-duty officers’ presence and the ability for patrol officers to travel across the city in short time.
In nearby Cobb County, authorities say they believe their uniformed presence at most county movie theaters should be sufficient to prevent patrons from attacks.
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