- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Verizon Arena in North Little Rock is installing metal detectors and imposing a new policy that limits the size of most bags that visitors can take inside.

The concert and sports venue will use the walkthrough metal detectors beginning Friday night, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1UCowBB ). Only clear bags, clutches that are 5-by-9 inches or smaller and diaper bags will be allowed inside the arena. All bags will be searched.

General manager Michael Marion said in a news release that the new procedures are “becoming standard practice” at venues.

“We hope all our patrons will be patient as our staff adapts to this new normal that we all face,” Marion said.

Previous measures at the arena allowed in most bags, except for backpacks. Security could also conduct metal-detector hand wands, but that happened at some but not all events, marketing director Jana DeGeorge said.

“After everything going on in the world, it was just time,” she said.

The changes were announced Tuesday, and officials revised them Wednesday, DeGeorge said. She also said arena officials had been flooded with concerns about where to carry personal items.

Arena officials say they expect security changes to eventually shorten the time people wait in line, but that personnel might have a short-term learning curve. Officials said visitors should arrive early and pack lightly for the Harlem Globetrotters’ performance Friday night.

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Information from: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, https://www.arkansasonline.com


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