Local venues step up security following Paris attacks

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Venues around the city have been following the news of the Paris terrorist attacks closely. They’re making adjustments to their current security plans.

The Indiana Repertory Theatre is just one of those venues that is making changes. They didn’t want to give specifics, to protect themselves and their guests, but say they’re ready for a safe and busy Christmas season.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at the IRT. That means sold out shows and crowds of 800 or more.

“Our Christmas Carol shows typically sell out. We have a lot of people and a lot of families coming. That’s the time of year when we do have more people in the building,” said IRT managing director Suzanne Sweeney.

More people translates to more preparation at the theater. Employees work hard to ensure props are in place, lights are ready to shine and most importantly, security is ready to act.

“Everything has been very smooth. Right now, we have a theater full of school children seeing A Christmas Carol and we haven’t had any outward signs. But, our staff is very aware and alert in making sure that our patrons are safe,” said Sweeney.

After the attacks in Paris, the issue of security has been a serious conversation at IRT.

“All of us, with the events in Paris, have a more heightened sense of security concerns. Our staff is much more alert and much more on top of any questionable things. We hope that our audience members will be as well,” said Sweeney.

Homeland Security’s Gary Coons echoes that. He’s urging everyone to be on the watch for questionable activity.

“We can’t do it by ourselves. It takes everyone just to stay vigilant and let us know if there is something that doesn’t seem right,” said Coons.

He added that Homeland Security works daily with state and federal agencies sharing intelligence.

“To make sure that people can attend events, can come downtown, can go to plays and feel safe and not have the worries,” said Coons.

According to Coons, there is an open terrorism-related investigation in all 50 US states. He says, however, there are no imminent threats in Indianapolis or surrounding areas and added there were no known threats in Paris either.

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