Albany police to have a presence at Wynnsong

Albany Police officers will have a presence at the Carmike Wynnsong 16 movie theater Friday night. / Jessica Fairley

A tragic Colorado movie theater shooting has left 12 people dead and dozens of others injured.

While officials in that area work to put together the pieces of what happened, southwest Georgia officials are reassuring the public of their safety.

Those with the Albany Police Department say the Colorado shooting incident has heightened awareness that danger can strike at anytime.

In case of a riot, fight or shooting, they say they have a plan in place to control the crowd.

Anytime there's a blockbuster movie premiere, officials with Carmike Cinemas beef up their security. In addition to hiring off-duty police officers, they have officers working undercover to survey the crowd, looking for anything suspicious, and movie-goers leaving the theater are also covered.

"Officers that just out of running their normal beat will drive through our parking lots and those close to us to make sure that it's safe to walk to your car," says Terrell Mayton, Marketing Director for Carmike Cinemas.

APD officers who are contracted out to work with Carmike Cinemas say although they are there for the public's protection, people should be mindful of guidelines placed before them because it just may save their life.

"At the beginning of the movies it stresses look for your exits in each theater, as well as in the hallways, there are lighted signs that says exits," said Richard Norman," Albany Police Investigator and Wynnsong 16 Carmike Cinemas Patrolman.

Ushers are instructed to survey isles and check emergency doors to make sure they are operable and to see that they are properly closed.

Law enforcement also stress that loitering won't be tolerated and curfews must be followed.

"We encourage parents to be there with their kids. Make sure they understand that the city of Albany does have a standing curfew and we will enforce that curfew always," said Richard Norman.

He advises anyone who sees anything suspicious to notify authorities immediately because they're trained to assess a situation and react accordingly.

Movie officials say they are not increasing security because of the shooting in Colorado. It is proper protocol to have added patrolmen when there are large movie premieres.

See below for the full statement released from Carmike Cinemas.

  • The Carmike Cinemas family is saddened by the senseless shooting of theatre guests at the Century 16 in Aurora, Colorado. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, their families and the community. Preliminary police reports indicate that the suspect, who is in custody, acted alone and that there is no evidence of any continuing threat.

  • At Carmike Cinemas our theatre teams are trained in standard security procedures and employ a wide variety of those measures at our complexes across the country. Many of the security procedures are visible and others are not in the sight of our guests. Uniformed law enforcement officers and plainclothes agents are routinely used. We pride ourselves in taking every reasonable measure to ensure the safety and enjoyment of all of our guests.

  • Carmike Cinemas posts a policy in view of guests that informs them of our right to inspect the contents of any backpack, package, or bag prior to admission. Weapons of any type are strictly not allowed in Carmike Cinemas.