Mount Pocono Still Weighing Police Coverage Options
MOUNT POCONO — There is still no decision about whether a borough there will keep its current police coverage.
Mount Pocono is one of four municipalities currently served by the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department.
Currently, the borough is weighing whether or not to continue paying for that service.
“I don`t anticipate taking action tonight. I think we need at least another month,” said John Finnerty, the borough council president. “When you have a four to three vote on an issue of this importance, it`s flawed and it needs more time.”
Council said the core problem is the cost to the borough of supporting the regional police department.
Members presented a report showing that coverage by Pocono Mountain Regional costs the borough $768,652 a year; that figure is nearly half of the borough’s annual budget.
But many residents said the protection is worth every penny.
“First class run since 1994, since its inception, it`s has done nothing but gotten better and of course different thing in this area have gotten different too,” said resident Joe Ryan.
“I believe they do a great job up here and I really think the cost is not the issue right, I think right now safety is an issue, we`re getting a large influx of people from the cities,” said resident Tom Farnan.
The Pocono Mountain Regional Police currently cover Mount Pocono borough and Coolbaugh, Tobyhanna and Tunkhannock Townships.
Last December, both Coolbaugh Township and Mount Pocono told Pocono Mountain, they were considering no longer using its officers.
However last month, Coolbaugh said it would stay with Pocono Mountain for at least another year.
“I caution the council that it`s more than a dollar amount. it`s quality of service, it`s quality of life and it`s protection of your people, “said Pocono Mountain Police Chief Harry Lewis.
The report made by Mount Pocono officials came up with five options, including forming its own police department, using state police or using a combination of state police and Pocono Mountain.
Mount Pocono officials said they expect to make a final decision next month.