SEATTLE - Emerald City Comic Con gets underway in Seattle on Thursday morning at the Washington State Convention Center. For the first time at the event in Seattle, everyone will be screened through metal detectors.
Organizers announced the security changes on their website, warning participants to be prepared.
The screening impacts everyone who goes into the Washington State Convention Center from Thursday through Sunday. Signs were posted throughout the building warning of the changes.
"They do this all over the country, but it's the first time at the Convention Center in Seattle, so we're working with them and preparing with them for how they want everyone to come through the facility this year," said Jeff Blosser, President and CEO of the Washington State Convention Center.
The metal detectors were provided by organizers and are used at other Comic Con conferences.
"I think it's good, honestly. It probably should have been done a while ago," said Kat Fox a participant at Emerald City Comic Con. "I know there's not a lot of violence that's happened at Comic Con, but it happens in movie theaters and everywhere else. I feel like it's only a matter of time."
In May 2017, a man was arrested at Comicon in Phoenix armed with four guns and a knife.
Last August in Jacksonville, Florida, at the Madden Football video game competition, a man opened fire and killed two people. That incident prompted increased security at the PAX West video game convention in Seattle days later.
KIRO 7 asked Emerald City Comic Con about the security changes. They provided the following statement:
"At ReedPOP, the safety and security of our fans and customers is of the absolute and utmost importance. As a team we think of it constantly, invest in it significantly and have many measures in place that are planned leading into each and every one of our events. As a rule we do not discuss the details of our security measures but know that there are elements of our security protocol that are visible during the show and many that are not."
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