Fraze bans large bags in latest security increase

Huber’s Rose, Victoria Theater Association express confidence in existing procedures.

Fraze Pavilion tightened security over the weekend by announcing backpacks, waist packs and purses would not be allowed in the facility for Sunday’s Lady Antebellum concert.

“There have been a lot of incidents across the country,” said Fraze Pavilion General Manager Karen Durham. “We want to do what’s best for our ticket buyers, the community and the artists.”

The move is the latest security adjustment, made in an effort to prevent tragedies such as the post-concert shooting death of 22-year-old singer Christina Grimmie in June in Florida. The changes, Durham said, mirror security measures widely practiced at other event venues and have become the “industry standard.”

Other area venues expressed confidence in their security procedures. In Huber Heights, Rose Music Center officials said backpacks are prohibited during shows, while other bags are subject to search.

“We want people to be safe, secure and comfortable,” said City Manager Rob Schommer. “Backpacks are items that aren’t a necessity for attending a concert.”

At Fraze, bag sizes should not exceed 12 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 6 inches deep, according to the post. Previously, Fraze ushers inspected bags.

Victoria Theater Association officials maintain the right to inspect bags, but does not check all bags, said spokeswoman Diane Schoeffler-Warren.

“When we do it’s on the advice and protocol of the Dayton Police Department,” she said. She said the association works with the department and a private security firm to develop and execute security procedures.

Grimmie was shot while signing autographs after a show in Orlando on June 10. The death occurred the same weekend as the massacre at an Orlando nightclub that killed 49 individuals. At the time, Fraze Pavilion and Rose Music Center officials declined to elaborate on their security procedures.

For years, local venues have adjusted security measures in an effort to keep patrons safe. At times, these adjustments have come as direct responses to threats.

Such was the case in 2007 for Franklin and Bellbrook high school graduation ceremonies at Wright State University Nutter Center. The ceremonies were subject to security plans involving the FBI and Ohio Highway Patrol after a threat that “100s” of people would die at the arena was scrawled in a school bathroom.

While some on Fraze’s Facebook page mocked the decision as post-9/11 “security theater,” patrons who spoke with News Center 7 ahead of the Lady Antebellum concert Sunday night were unconcerned, if not reassured, by the change.

“It does make me feel safer because I know that somebody can’t bring a weapon in,” said Susie Ruffolo, of Centerville. “It makes me feel good that I can just have a small purse and it’s easily checked and we get through quick.”

Staff Writer Rich Wilson and News Center 7 Reporter Caroline Reinwald contributed to this report.

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