After his staff received a phone call threatening mass murder at the next event at the Lerner Theatre, general manager David Smith wants patrons to know that they are working hard to make sure the upcoming event and all events are as safe as possible.
A voicemail message that was left over the weekend stated that there would be a mass murder at the theater’s next concert. Elkhart Police Department officers are investigating. The message was first heard Monday morning, Aug. 31.
- RELATED: Voicemail threatening mass murder at the Lerner Theatre under investigation, Sept. 1, 2015
Smith released the following statement to the public on Tuesday afternoon:
To Lerner patrons and the general public,
As a public facility with events, rehearsals and activities nearly every day of the week, we are proud of the fact we receive far more compliments than complaints. The staff members and volunteers with the Lerner Theatre, Crystal Ballroom and Premier Arts are committed to providing patrons with outstanding service.
On Monday morning, our staff received a phone threat that was serious in nature and unsettling. Our box office and theatre staff secured relevant information for law enforcement, and our Elkhart Police Department responded with diligence and professionalism. As general manager of the Lerner Theatre, I am expressing my personal gratitude for the work done by all who were involved in dealing with the incident.
We work closely with our community’s police officers and firefighters to provide the best training possible for emergency situations. Our staff and volunteers follow policies and procedures to ensure public safety to the best of our abilities – the response to the threat made Monday proved our staff will act quickly and take the proper course of action.
Not all training can prevent senseless acts of violence. Our country has witnessed tragedy in theatres, houses of worship, shopping centers, and more. We all must be aware of our surroundings and the actions of those who are near us, taking steps when necessary to contact authorities of criminal – or potentially criminal – activities.
We are again reviewing internally the security measures and emergency plans that have been in place since our beautiful space re-opened in 2011 following expansion and renovation. We continue to work with the Elkhart Police Department, Elkhart Fire Department and other first responders and emergency personnel to provide the safest environment possible for patrons.
While Monday’s incident took an emotional toll, I am lifted up knowing our staff and police acted promptly and professionally. I hope you, too, will thank them the next time you visit the Lerner.