Baltimore County Police to increase patrols around theaters

Baltimore County police plan to have a greater presence around movie theaters and are closely following the developments in Aurora, Colo., after a gunman killed a dozen moviegoers and wounded 55 more at a midnight showing of"The Dark Knight Rises."

"At this point, the situation in Colorado is still unfolding," said Cpl. Cathy Batton, a police department spokeswoman, Friday afternoon.


"We're not particularly sure at this point why this location was chosen," Batton said. "Until we can answer those questions, we'd rather err on the side of safety and alleviate community fears so they feel comfortable going out and enjoying the movies."

Batton said an "increased police presence" around theaters will be evident, and each of the county's 10 precincts will develop plans for increased patrols in the area of movie theaters.


However, there is no plan to assign officers specifically to the theaters.

"Many of the movie theaters choose to employ off-duty law enforcement, so there may already be officers there," she said.

Michelle Schiffer, a spokeswoman for Greenberg Gibbons Properties, which operates Hunt Valley Towne Centre in Cockeysville, said the mall operator does not typically share specific security plans, "but we feel that our security plan is pretty intense to begin with on the weekends."

An employee at Regal Hunt Valley Stadium 12, which is located in the Hunt Valley Towne Centre, told the Towson Times last night that all 12 screens were playing the film, which is the third in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, and all were sold out.

The first of 19 showings on Friday began at 9 a.m, and the final screening won't end until early Saturday morning.