Armed Security Officer at Middle Smithfield Township Building

MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- People going into a municipal building in Monroe County are now greeted by an armed security officer. The added safety comes after a gunman opened fire at the Paradise Township municipal building last year.

Middle Smithfield Township officials say this didn't become a position overnight; they actually included it in this year's budget.

Amy Sunbury has been working in security for more than 20 years. Her latest job venture brings her to the Middle Smithfield Township municipal building near Marshalls Creek. She's the building's armed security officer.

"As people come into the building, I have them sign in. I ask them, I can't prevent them from coming in with any weapons, but I do ask if they have anything on their person, everything from firearms down to pepper spray, mace, pocket knives. If they do, I ask them to please return it to their vehicle before entering the building and they do comply," said Sunbury.

The added safety comes after a Paradise Township codes enforcement officer was killed when a gunman opened fire in the municipal building near Mount Pocono back in November.

"It's always been a concern. It's just heightened by the recent events. Within five years, you've had two shootings in Monroe County at township offices so it hits home, obviously," said Mike Dwyer, Middle Smithfield Township supervisor.

Township officials say this isn't a position that they just created overnight. They actually planned for it when they made their budget. It cost about $1,000 a week for the service.

Tom Devaney is a taxpayer in the township. He says he's glad his money is going to something worthwhile.

"It's a new way and a new era. It's life, life in general," says Devaney.

The armed security officer will be on duty during business hours at the Middle Smithfield Township municipal building. She will also be on duty at meetings.

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