Stroudsburg, Monroe County – Monroe County leaders had an unprecedented security plan in
place during Rockne Newell’s preliminary hearing.
From officers with assault rifles to K9s, people couldn’t miss the security outside of the
Monroe County Courthouse Thursday. Gary Hill of Saylorsburg remarked, I don't
know if it’s actually all completely necessary but it’s a good thing to have
Ron Lewis has lived in Stroudsburg for 15 years and comes by the courthouse all the time.
He said, I've never see this much security or this many news trucks around here
and the SWAT team.
While streets surrounding the courthouse were off limits to cars, people could still
walk around. The courthouse was open for business. Though people inside were
subject to increased security.
Thomas Waslowski of Saylorsburg said, It's a shame that they have to be here,
actually, costing people a lot of time and money and the taxpayers but I think
it's a necessary evil because of the evil what the accused has done.”
Jerry Zeigafuse of Stroudsburg added, I'm happy they're doing something. This way
nobody gets hurt.”
County leaders defended the show of force. They say there’s a lot of emotion involved
in this case. While they say there were no direct threats, this was the first time
the victims, their families, and the suspect were all on one place. So they
wanted to be safe, not sorry. Monroe County Emergency Management Director Guy
Miller said, We did what we felt was the right thing to do for this level of
the case and it was a unified decision between the courts, the sheriff's
department, Stroud Regional, the DA and everyone involved.”
In the end, taxpayers say everyone, including Rockne Newell, is entitled to a fair
trial. Janet Secor of East Stroudsburg said, It's sad that this has to be this
way but we need security for someone like this.”
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