Shore Police Step Up Patrols Following Colorado Shootings
Shore area police departments are on a heightened state of alert following the fatal shootings in Aurora Colorado last week. Police Chiefs say patrol officers are keeping their eye out for copycats. They're also encouraging the public to report any suspicious activity.
In Stafford Township Monday night, Police made four arrest after the showing of the Dark Knight Rises at a Manahawkin movie theater at around 6:30. Police Sergeant John Linck says the arrest followed a report about suspicious activity in the Regal Theater which lead to the arrest of one man for outstanding warrants and the arrest of his three associates on controlled dangerous substance charges. Linck says no weapons were involved. He says, "its very good due to the wake of the Aurora shootings that people are vigilant and aware of their surroundings."
Seaside Heights Police Chief Thomas Boyd says departments in Ocean County have absolutely stepped up patrols following the Colorado shootings. He says he's assigned six undercover Police Officers to patrol the boardwalk to look for anything out of the ordinary. Toms River Police Chief Mike Mastronardy confirms beefed up patrols at public venues in the Township as well.
However, the Chiefs are saying there's no substitute for the public's vigilance. Boyd says "Pay attention to your surroundings. No matter if you're going in for a cup of coffee at the Wawa or 7-Eleven, you should know what's going on around you at all times." Mastronardy says you should familiarize yourself with exits. "He says there's no real cure all. Everybody just has to react how they feel naturally and just take certain precautions."
Chief Boyd says "whether there's a backpack sitting there with nobody around it or if somebody walks in and they're acting strange in a public place. You have to go with your gut instinct and everybody has a gut instinct, so you might want to just walk away or notify a police officer."