Howard County Police said they will increase patrols around movie theaters, the Mall in Columbia and the Lakefront area in Columbia in response to the news that a gunman killed 12 people in Aurora, CO during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises.
"Police have met with representatives from the two movie theaters in Howard County, at Snowden Square and the Mall in Columbia, to address security issues and ensure open lines of communication with law enforcement," wrote Sherry Llewellyn, a spokesperson for Howard County Police in an email Friday afternoon.
Police also reported they will conduct an unscheduled inspection of all their equipment to ensure each officer is prepared for any situation.
The Mall in Columbia General Manager Katie Essing said security is a top concern.
"The safety and the well-being of our shoppers are and always will be our top concerns," said Essing Friday in a statement. "Again, the most important things we want our shoppers to know today are that our prayers and support are with the victims, their families and the Aurora, Colorado, community."
Regarding security at the mall and the AMC movie theater complex inside the mall, a mall spokesperson said, "It is the corporate policy of the Mall in Columbia not to discuss its security program publicly. To do so may compromise its effectiveness."
"We are terribly saddened by the random act of violence in Aurora and our thoughts are with the victims and their families," said AMC in the statement. "Being a safe place in the community for all our guests is a top priority at AMC and we take that responsibility very seriously."
Baltimore County Police also issued a statement on Friday saying they would and movie theaters "to alleviate community fears and address any potential threats that may occur."
Batman: The Dark Knight Rises is scheduled to be shown in the mall at the theater's IMAX screen and on a second, non-IMAX screen throughout the day Friday, with the last showing Friday ocurring at 11:40 p.m.
The summer blockbuster is also playing at UA's Snowden Square theater throughout the day, with the last showing scheduled for 11 p.m.
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