Pocono Policing Under Debate

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COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP -- The Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department could be in danger.

The department is made up of four municipalities: the borough of Mount Pocono, Coolbaugh, Tobyhanna and Tunkhannock Townships. Leaders in Mount Pocono and Coolbaugh Township have sent letters about their intention to withdraw from the regional police department.

A Mount Pocono council member told Newswatch 16 that being part of the regional force costs too much. State police could provide protection.pocono regional police map

At the Pocono Mountain Regional Police commission meeting Tuesday night, more than 60 people were on hand. Many said they want the regional police department to stay.

"I for one - you all know - am in favor of regional police. You all do a great job and I say that over and over again. I truly do not want to see them pull away," said Vincent Massaru of Coolbaugh Township.

"I’ve seen the department at work. I’ve seen them in our community. I see them drive down my road. I feel very safe and secure as I know other residents of Coolbaugh Township and the other municipalities also feel," said Steve Ferraioli of Coolbaugh Township.

The district attorney of Monroe County, David Christine, spoke out to the crowd at the police department commission meeting, as well. He said disbanding the regional police department would be "a disaster."

"There is no way going backwards in time is going to address the challenges that we face right now," said Christine.

Despite the support, not everyone at the meeting wants to keep the regional police.

"The state police will be able to handle the situation up here because what they will be doing is acquiring more manpower," said Michael Oser of Mount Pocono.

Commission members say despite the letters, they are hoping to work with Coolbaugh Township and Mount Pocono leaders to keep the regional police force together.