JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Some local movie theaters are adding extra security this weekend after the mass shooting in Colorado.
The IMAX and Epic theaters in St. Johns County asked for extra police officers. We also looked into whether they'll start looking to adding extra security like metal detectors. The owner of Sunrise Cinema's in 5 Points doesn't think it will help.
We sat down with the former undersheriff to talk about the impact the cuts to JSO would have on officers responding to mass casualty incidents here. Wyllie Hodges with First Coast Crimestoppers spent 34 years on the police force. He's seen tragedies like the mass shooting in Colorado first hand. "If it happened there, it can happen here," said Hodges.
Hodges says a mass casualty like this takes a lot of manpower. The sheriff may be forced to cut his staff though. Sheriff John Rutherford has to cut his budget by nearly 30 million dollars. Jobs, services and programs are all on the chopping block. While Hodges isn't involved with the budget he knows the it'll be hard. "Ninety-five officers Makes a tremendous difference."
Hodges wants the community to pay close attention to this tragedy, in hopes of realizing the importance of taking officers off our streets. "It's what the city wants. The sheriff has to do what's required. If that's what they want, that's what they'll get," said Hodges.
The sheriff did issue a statement. Part of it talks about how the department constantly trains for incidents like this and will continue to be prepared even with the cuts.