Tightened security at Norfolk concert, sporting venues

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The city of Norfolk says they’ve stepped up their security game at seven concert and sporting venues that attract large crowds.

10 On Your Side learned of the procedures just one day after Disney World announced they are installing metal detectors and not selling toy guns anymore.

Spokeswoman Lori Crouch says they made the changes the day after Thanksgiving with the purpose of acting before any threat arises.

The new changes affect Norfolk Scope, Chrysler Hall, Harbor Park, Attucks Theater, Harrison Opera House, Prism Theater at Scope and Wells Theatre.

“They can expect if it’s a large bag it will be checked, [they will be] wanded and physical inspections,” said Crouch.

The federal government said in a memo released Dec. 16: “We are in a new phase in the global terrorism environment … We are concerned about the “self-radicalized” actor(s) who could strike with little or no notice … DHS is also concerned about threats and violence directed at particular communities and individuals across the country, based on perceived religion, ethnicity, or nationality.”

Increased security is also in place at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. Park officials would not talk specifics with 10 On Your Side, but a spokesman said there are changes taking place inside and outside the parks due to current events.

“I think in this day and age anything can happen anywhere,” said Crouch. “A lot of coordination and collaboration goes on behind the scenes between the city staff and law enforcement to make sure that everyone that comes through has a really good time.”

Since the metal detectors started being used on a regular basis in late November, officials say thousands of guests have been screened with new procedures with just one person who complained.

“We want our patrons to come to our events and our concerts and feel safe.”said Crouch, who feels citizens believe the new procedures are working and appreciated.

Crouch says all venues open at least one hour before the start of any event and the time it takes to enter the facilities should not be impacted.

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