LORDS VALLEY, PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) It has been more than two years since the 48 day manhunt for Eric Frein paralyzed part of the Poconos….but state lawmakers still want to learn from what happened.Several state senators held a hearing today in Pike County — looking for answers about what worked and what didn’t. Eyewitness News reporter Eric Deabill listened to all of the testimony and has our story
During a day-long hearing, state lawmakers talked about what went well and what could have been improved upon during the 48-day manhunt for Eric Frein in 2014.
With numerous roadblocks, Pike County commissioners noticed a glaring issue.
“Personal protection equipment needs to be supplied to local personnel. In the Frein case, local fire companies were asked to block roads but these individuals had no protection”said Commissioner Matthew Osterberg, (R) Pike County
As the search moved from Pike to Monroe County, Monroe County’s Emergency Management Agency felt like it was often left in the dark by state police when they could have easily helped with things like bringing in shower trailers.
“There were many cases where my office was informed of equipment being requested from the western part of the Commonwealth which could have been fulfilled in a shorter amount of time from sources that were local” added Monroe County EMA Director.
“There may have been a little but lost there but I think it was done the best it could be done” said Representative Rosemary Brown, (R) Pike and Monroe County.
Once Eric Frein was caught, the warden of the Pike County prison pointed out another concern.
Frein had to be taken to the hospital or doctor at least three times.
The warden says based on state law, his prison transport vehicles can’t have emergency lights.
“Here we are carrying this individual back and forth to the hospital and doctors, we’re carrying fully automatic weapons on our transport team, yet we have no lights on our vehicles” noted Craig Lowe, Pike County Prison Warden.
“I know we did receive a letter from your solicitor, the prison board solicitor, we’ve given that to our transportation research staff so they can look at that” added Representative Michael Peifer, (R) Pike County.
In all, the manhunt cost just under $12 million dollars.
A majority of that money went to state police overtime, housing and fuel