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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.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


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