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Updated Jul 20, 2012 - 5:29 pm

Phoenix police increasing presence at theaters

Due to Colorado massacre at a movie theater, Phoenix police presence will be beefed up at movie theaters and large venues.

“We’re asking the community to be aware of suspicious activity,” said Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia. “This includes persons, vehicles and any type of suspicious activity that occurs when you’re attending these types of venues.”

Garcia said the stepped-up presence will include increased patrols and officers going into the various theaters.

“I’m asking all our patrol precincts to make contact with the theaters in their area and to increase patrols out there,” he said. “Also, to get out of their vehicles and walk through theaters occasionally.”

Garcia said his daughter called to ask if she should see the movie in Dallas.

“She asked me, ‘Dad, should I attend,'” he said. “My answer was, ‘Absolutely.'”

Police said they have no reason to expect a similar event occurring in Phoenix.

Tucson Police Chief Roberto Villasenor says his department will “provide
additional uniform officers at movie theaters and other places and events that
attract a large gathering of people” and “these resources will remain in place
for an undetermined amount of time.”

In Peoria, police say they are on “heightened alert” and staffing is higher
around theaters because of the large crowds the new “Batman” film is likely to
draw.

Mesa police say their officers “will be vigilant” in patrols of movie
theaters and many other large public venues around the city.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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