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Security measures upgraded at Jones Beach Theater, officials say

With summer concerts approaching, concrete blocks are strategically

With summer concerts approaching, concrete blocks are strategically placed outside Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh for security purposes on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Security measures at Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater have been upgraded after the May 22 concert bombing in Manchester, England, officials said Friday.

Some of the measures in place as the venue’s summer season starts Saturday will mirror ones deployed at last weekend’s Bethpage Air Show: extra screening of attendees, surveillance cameras, concrete barriers, and the presence of park police officers and their canine partners.

“It’s no different than what any other big municipality is doing today,” said Capt. Anthony Astacio, Long Island regional commander of the New York State Park Police. “We want to provide a sense of security for fans and patrons to come; at the same time, we don’t want people to feel oppressed, like it’s a police state.”

He said currently there are no credible threats to the Jones Beach Theater: “Everything we are doing is just precautionary.”

Like other venues, the buffer zone around the entrance for the theater, which can hold approximately 15,000 people, has been enlarged.

“We’re concerned about different kinds of threats, one of them is vehicles, so we created a ‘sterile zone’ right in front of the entrance,” Astacio said.

The number of car- or truck-stopping concrete barriers — which are 3 feet high and either 6 or 20 feet long — was tripled, said George Gorman, Long Island deputy regional director, New York State Office of Parks. “They surround the entire area.”

Instead of driving to the entrance, taxis and cars will park in a new area in Field 5; the VIP parking area also was relocated.

Field 5 will be closed at 9 p.m. to anyone without a ticket or a concertgoer to pick up.

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